Microsoft confirms Sept. 22 release of Office 2016

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It looks like the leak that pegged the release of Microsoft Office 2016 to Sept. 22 was spot-on. This was confirmed in a blog post earlier today by Julia White, the general manager of the Microsoft Office division.

"You may have heard the rumors, but today I'm happy to confirm that Office 2016 will be broadly available starting on September 22nd," wrote White, directly acknowledging that details of the earlier leak were accurate.

Customers with a volume licensing agreement in place can download Office 2016 from the Volume Licensing Service Center from October 1, she said. 

Microsoft had previously released a pared-down preview version of Office 2016 for Windows in March for active Office 365 subscribers. In July, it released the full version of Office 2016 for Mac, which replaces Office 2011 on the OS X operating system. The release of Office 2016 on Windows will finally put Windows and Mac versions of Office on the same numeric version.

Probably the most anticipated feature in Office 2016 is its stronger collaboration capability. This allows users to perform synchronous document editing across devices on all platforms when the documents are saved in OneDrive.

As noted by a report on ZDNet, there is integration with Power BI, more lockdown/rights manage capabilities, and a new "Tell Me" navigation support.

White pointed to new deployment and management options in Office 2016, its support for data loss prevention and multi-factor authentication, among other new features.

Organizations with the business-centric Office 365 ProPlus subscriptions will be able to continue getting monthly feature and security updates. That continuous update feature is now known as the "Current Branch."

For those who prefer not to be inundated with updates, a new Current Branch for Business option will pare the updates down to just three cumulative feature updates per year. This option will not be available for Office 365 Personal and Office 365 Home users.

For more:
- check out this blog post at Office Blogs
- check out this article at ZDNet

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