Microsoft’s next version of Office for desktop will be called Office 2016, and is scheduled for general availability “in the second half of 2015.”
During the Windows 10 preview on Wednesday, when Microsoft unveiled the touch-optimised version of Office for Windows 10 – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook – for mobiles and tablets, it didn’t say anything about Office for desktop.
Later in a blog post on Thursday, Julia White, Microsoft’s Office General Manager, while detailing the touch-optimised Office, also shared details about the upcoming Office suite for desktops.
“Simultaneously, we are hard at work on the next release of the Office desktop suite that will be called Office 2016. (Unexpected, I know!) We will have more to share on Office 2016 in the coming months, but this suite will remain the comprehensive Office experience you’re long familiar with, best suited for a PC with keyboard and mouse,” said White on Office blogs. “We expect to make Office 2016 generally available in the second half of 2015.”
While White didn’t reveal any features that can be expected in the upcoming Office 2016, it was last September when the purported screenshots had come out detailing about the next version of Microsoft Office, then thought to be called Office 16.
It was reported that the screenshots of Office 16 were from an early build being distributed to partners, and it only featured ‘fairly minor’ changes.
Some of new elements that were seen in the purported Office 16 screenshots had included the most-requested dark theme option (alongside the light grey, dark grey and white themes); automatic image rotation in documents (based on image metadata), with the ability to manually rotate it afterwards; as well as new syncing options for the Outlook email client to support devices with lower storage capacities, with download options including 1 day, 3 days, 7 days, or 14 days, when the earlier minimum was one month of email.