It’s September 22! And for those of us who pay very close attention to Microsoft updates, this is a long awaited moment as Office 365 will begin rolling out Office 2016. Julia White, General Manager at Office 365, initially announced this earlier this month.
What’s New in Office 2016
Office 2016 takes an increased focus on allowing users to be able to connect from any device or location, making it much easier for users to work while on the go. As we have mentioned previously, Outlook will allow you to share attachments from OneDrive. However, where this becomes interesting is that now Office will automatically configure permissions to the intended recipient. This drastically improves the ease at which coworkers can share and collaborate.
A welcome feature to most security professionals, Office 2016 will be able to support multi-factor authentication mechanisms via the Active Directory (AD) Authentication Library.
Compliance and Transparency Control
IT Professionals have been asking Microsoft for a while to increase the level of control around various compliance and transparency features. Office 2016 provides many of these features. Data Loss Prevention, which has previously been available only in Outlook, will be available in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. And IT Admins will be able to create, manage, and control policies that control users rights around content authoring and document sharing. End users will be notified when the apps detect a potential policy violation. This is on top of the Lockbox feature that was announced back in April that protects data from being accessed by Microsoft employees.
Most users never use the entire Office suite to its full potential. This feature is meant to help with users who are looking for a feature but don’t know what it would be called or where to look for it. Tell me works by having users type in a query such as desired result or function into the search box. For example, if you are trying to figure out how to mark your document as confidential, simply type “confidential banner” into the search bar and Tell Me will bring back the how to instructions for inserting a watermark.
Improved BI Features
Business intelligence features that are new in Office 2016 bring a whole new level of capability to the Office suite. One of the exciting new features is Excel Power Query integration. What this will accomplish is essentially the consistent experience for discovering, combining, and refining data across a wide variety of sources. You will also now be able to link a Visio diagram to data that is contained within an Excel spreadsheet. This level of sophistication will allow you to utilize your Visio diagram as a dashboard, making it much easier to track and manage projects throughout the entire development lifecycle.
Information Rights Management (IRM) Features
One of the great control features that is new in Office 2016 is Information Rights Management controls have been extended and strengthened to provide for more protection over your data. For one thing, while this feature has been around for a while, it can now protect Visio files as well. This essentially allows you to share your data while controlling whether or not other users have the ability to edit the content itself.
Tutorial Video for Visio and Projects
Both Microsoft Visio and Projects have become invaluable tools for project management professionals over the years. One of the features that they both will receive new in Office 2016 is that they will have a “Getting Started” tutorial that will make it easier for first time users to get a feel for the features and functions of the applications.
Create Work Groups via Outlook
This is a great new collaboration feature that is new in Office 2016. The groups feature is intended to allow for users to collaborate more efficiently in the modern workplace. When in a group, you can keep tabs on communication, access conversation history, and manage communication in a specially marked sect of your Outlook. Additionally, all files and notes that are applied to the group will be able to be cross-referenced from OneDrive.
There are many other great features that are new in Office 2016!
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