Mar 09 2016

Review: Microsoft Office 2016 Brings New Apps to Small Business

Microsoft Office 2016 features the right mix of cloud, collaboration and sharing tools to power small business.

There has never been a greater array of Microsoft Office versions to choose from. Business and personal users can pick between two main versions (Office 365 and Office 2016), with a multitude of choices under each, including five personal variations — home, home and business, business, corporate or student.

The biggest difference between Office 365 and Office 2016 is that 365 runs on a subscription, while 2016 comes as a suite of apps, like all versions of Office before it. For small business owners, the choice really lies between Microsoft Office Home and Business 2016 and Office Professional 2016.

Professional adds the Publisher and Access features to the standard Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook and two new apps, Sway and Delve. Both versions include a license for one PC or Mac computer.

The Cloud Advantage with the New Microsoft Office

For users of Microsoft’s new Office Home and Business 2016, things will look similar to the previous version, Microsoft Office 2013. The biggest differences are not additional apps or new capabilities in individual apps, but the collaborative and cloud-based tools.

Microsoft Office 2016 has an emphasis on collaboration. The default mode for sharing is to save to OneDrive and send others links to the file on OneDrive, rather than saving a file to a local drive and sharing copies via email.

The new version of Outlook allows users to create ad-hoc groups that can share not only files, but also messages, a shared calendar and a OneDrive account.

Additionally, the default way to access all of this is through and OneDrive, rather than through local file and email servers.

What's New in Office 2016?

Office 2016 features many great tools. For example, while working in any of the new apps, a user can right-click on a word and select “Define” to pull up tools to define the word, find synonyms, or research the concept online through sites such as Bing or Wikipedia. And Excel now includes a number of useful templates, forecasting tools and Power Query, which works with live data.

Microsoft Office 2016

Processor: 1Ghz or faster x86- or x64-bit processor with SSE2
Operating System: Windows 7 or newer, Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012
Memory: 1GB RAM (32 bit); 2GB RAM (64 bit)
Hard Disk Space: 3GB available disk space

Henrik Sorensen/Getty Images

Become an Insider

Unlock white papers, personalized recommendations and other premium content for an in-depth look at evolving IT