Microsoft has announced the release of Microsoft Office 2016 Public Preview for Windows 7 and later.
The build is free for everyone to try out, no Office 365 subscription required. Although beware, there is one potential complication: the preview won’t run alongside Office 2013, so you’ll need to uninstall the older version first.
If you decide to take a look anyway then Excel is the best place to start. It has new charts and graphs, one-click forecasting, improved PivotTable and PivotCharts, simpler sharing and collaboration via Microsoft’s Power BI, and more.
There’s better support for cloud services across the suite, including Outlook’s new ability to directly attach OneDrive files and configure any recipient’s permissions.
Office Online apps-like real-time co-authoring of documents is making its way to the desktop, although initially for Word only.
Elsewhere, a “Tell Me” smart search tool helps you find the commands you need; Insights brings Bing-powered web search results without switching to a browser; and the Background Intelligence Transfer Service (BITS) does a better job of managing network bandwidth, throttling back activity when other critical network traffic is present.
Microsoft Office 2016 Public Preview is available now for Windows 7 and later.