Office 2016 for Windows finally has an official release date, as Microsoft just announced plans to roll out its next productivity suite on Sept. 22.
After releasing its brand new Office 2016 for Mac back in July, Microsoft has now confirmed what rumors had already anticipated: the Windows version of Office 2016 will arrive on Sept. 22.
"You may have heard the rumors, but today I'm happy to confirm that Office 2016 will be broadly available starting on September 22nd," announced Microsoft's Julia White, general manager of Office 365 Technical Product Management. "If you have a volume licensing agreement in place, you can download Office 2016 from the Volume Licensing Service Center starting October 1st."
The announcement further reveals that Microsoft improved the upgrade and installation process, and Office 365 subscribers will also see changes pertaining to the way 2016 apps will get updates from now on. At the same time, the company is also offering new tools and resources to aid in the preparation, deployment and management of Office.
According to the company, Office 365 ProPlus customers will receive frequent updates moving forward, aiming to keep the productivity suite up to date at all times so users can benefit from the latest security patches and features. Microsoft refers to this always up-to-date strategy as the "Current Branch." The next Current Branch will launch on Sept. 22, packing all of the latest Office 2016 app updates.
At the same time, the company is also adding another option called "Current Branch for Business," which will involve monthly security patches and three major updates per year.
The first Current Branch for Business build will roll out in February 2016, bringing basically the same feature set as the Sept. 22 release while also adding four extra months of security updates. For more information about Microsoft's new servicing options, check out the company's TechNet blog.
Office 2016 will enable OneDrive attachments in Outlook, support for formatting across multiple devices, real-time collaboration, a modernized interface, multi-user editing and other neat features and IT tools.
Office 365 Personal and Office 365 Home users can start installing Office 2016 apps on Sept. 22 and will start receiving automatic updates in October. As Microsoft points out, the update model with three major updates per year is solely for "organizational subscribers" to Office 365 ProPlus.