Earlier this week, Microsoft finally launched Office 2016, the latest version since the 2013 version launched quite some time ago. The whole Internet was abuzz with the new launch, and Office 2016 has actually been in Preview for quite some time, with the Mac version having been released earlier this year. For a long, long time Microsoft were the dominant and de facto force in the Office software game, but since Google Docs arrived, things started to slip a little. Google's online offerings make things nice and easy for anyone to head to a webpage, start typing or start adding numbers to spreadsheets; for free. This is where Microsoft started to lose ground, and while Office 365 has proven a popular alternative for students and businesses, it still relied on old Office 2013, until now.
In its latest release, Microsoft Office now works online, with real-time collaboration for the first time. This is something that Google has been offering for years, we use Google Docs and Drive to great effect here at Android Headlines but Microsoft have one thing that Google doesn't; Skype. While Hangouts is great, it has never really reached the same wide appeal as Skype has, and now Microsoft have built it right into Office 2016, making it nice and easy to meet to discuss a certain document or spreadsheet there and then. The below video from the Office team at Microsoft pretty much confirms that collaborate – ie Google – was what this new release was going after.
For us Android users however, things have gotten better if you still need to use Office in some way. Under the new leadership of Satya Nadella, Microsoft realizes that they need to be everywhere if they want to stay relevant, and Android now has Word, Excel and OneNote apps for smartphones and tablets. Hell, Microsoft even have their own Android launcher in the works, as well as a special Excel keyboard for tablets. Office 365 and Office 2016 are not so much Microsoft's way of bringing people back to the suite, but more a way to keep hold of them and they may just have done enough to make Google's offerings look a little limited once again.