Microsoft updates Office for Mac – but only for Office 365 customers

After several months of public beta, Microsoft has released the final version of Office 2016 for Mac. However, there’s a catch: the new version is only available to Office 365 customers. Users who want to buy a standalone subscription-free copy will have to wait until September.

Microsoft updates Office for Mac – but only for Office 365 customers

Office 2016 for Mac includes major updates to Word, Excel and PowerPoint, alongside the previously released versions of Outlook and OneNote. All the applications look much more like their Windows cousins than previous releases, but their designs also respect the standard Mac menu controls and features such as full-screen mode.

The release includes user interface features that have been part of Windows releases for some time, such as the coloured and tabbed ribbon across the top that groups together sets of functions. Word, for example, has a “Design” tab that includes all the tools users need to layout a document.

Office 2016 is the first major release for the Mac in five years. However, speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Han-yi Shaw, engineering lead on Office for Mac, said the company was now “working at a pace of monthly updates”, bringing the product more into line with Windows. “The days of waiting years for new software – those days are over,” he added.

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