We knew it was coming, but Microsoft has now officially confirmed that Office 2016 for Windows will be “broadly available” from September 22.
The full public launch comes after many months of iteration, with the software first available to users in private preview, followed by developers and IT pros. While Office 2016 has technically been open to anyone via a public preview since May, September 22 is when Microsoft will give its omnipresent word-processing software the final stamp of approval.
A number of key updates are coming with this latest version, including collaborative coediting features which have been available to Office Online users for a while. This basically allows multiple desktop users to work on documents at the same time and see all updates in real-time.
Office 2016 will also simplify the process of syncing documents from the desktop to the cloud, making it easier to edit the same document on multiple devices. Microsoft’s cloud credentials are a specific focus for chief executive Satya Nadella, who announced back in June that creating “the intelligent cloud platform” was to be one of Microsoft’s three key investments.
It’s worth noting here that Microsoft Office for Mac has officially been available since July, though it has hitherto been tethered to an Office 365 subscription. The company did say at the time that a standalone version of the software would be available for purchase in September, though its latest announcement doesn’t refer to Mac specifically. But it is safe to assume that, from September 22, Office 2016 will gradually be made available to users on all platforms.