Microsoft today released the new version of its productivity suite for Mac users with the debut of Office 2016 for Mac. The updated software is first being made available to Office 365 subscribers, the company says – meaning those who have either an Office 365 Home, Personal, Business, Business Premium, E3 or ProPlus subscription. A standalone version will not become available until September, notes Microsoft, and pricing for that option is not yet available.
With an Office 365 subscription, Mac users have a range of pricing plans available depending on their needs. Pricing for home users is $6.99 per month for Office 365 Personal, $9.99 per month for Office 365 Home, and there are also plans available for students who may be able to get Office 2016 for Mac for free or for a significant discount, Microsoft says.
New customers can purchase an Office 365 subscription at office.com/Mac while current customers can instead visit their account page at office.com/myaccount and follow installation instructions.
Office 2016 for Mac has been in preview testing – Microsoft’s form of a beta release – since March of this year. That program led to the company receiving over 100,000 pieces of feedback, it says, and over the course of the test period, Microsoft has updated the software seven times to improve its performance and stability. These updates also included new features like improved Mail Merge in Word, Propose New Time in Outlook and support for External Data Connections in Excel.
The suite, which offers new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote, is now available in 139 countries and 16 languages. It includes the familiar ribbon interface and task panes, as well as features designed for Mac users like Full Screen view, multi-touch gestures, and Retina support. Its integration with the cloud allows users to switch between devices – including PCs, tablets, phones and the web – in order to continue editing or collaborating on files.
Going forward, the updated suite will receive quarterly updates, Microsoft says.