Microsoft Office 2016 is finally here

Microsoft has released the new version of its ubiquitous product, Microsoft Office 2016. It is now available for all PCs running Windows 7 or newer versions

After several previews and announcements, Microsoft has released the new version of its ubiquitous product, Microsoft Office 2016. It is now available for all PCs running Windows 7 or newer versions, Unlike Windows 10, Microsoft has not made it free for users who already have Office 2013. Users having a valid subscription of Microsoft Office 365 will get it free of cost. Microsoft has also stated in a blog post that customers with Volume License will be able to download it from October 1st.

New and Changed Things in Microsoft Office 2016

Microsoft has made many changes in Office 2016, but ultimately it is more of a evolution rather than revolution for Office Suite. Among the several new features Tighter Cloud integration and Real time co-authoring of a Word documents are the most notable. Office 2016 is more focused on cloud technology and as it looks, it will try its best to beat Google’s Docs. Office also includes a new tell me bar that is able to help users in finding a command in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint. Apart from these features Microsoft Office 2016 is also improving the Excel by introducing six new chart designs.

Tell me bar in Microsoft Word 2016 | Image : Microsoft
Tell me bar in Microsoft Word 2016 | Image : Microsoft

Microsoft is also introducing new research features such as the ability to search and insert content to document right from web. There are some cosmetic changes as well, the apps now have a coloured title bar. Each app has different color, such as Word has blue title bar based on the color scheme of the icon. Other flat themes from Office 2013 are available to use as well and one Grey theme is added too.

There is now a new member in Office Family, named Sway, In a nutshell it is just a mix between Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint. Users can use Sway in Microsoft Office 2016 to create information stuffed simple websites. Instead of just making it available for Office 2016, Microsoft has made it available for free of cost all users as a Windows App and a Web App.

OneNote now has a better note management system that is able to link Office files ( Word and PowerPoint Files at this time) to notes, when needed users will be able to use it to find files related to that particular note.

Office 2016 is taking Windows 10 like update approach

It is now clear that instead of just releasing bug fixes and security updates for Microsoft Office 2016, the Redmond giant will also make new feature and refinements available regularly. It will work just like it works in WIndows 10.

We will soon review it on Getting Geek and see that how it stacks up against the expectations.

Microsoft is releasing Office 2016 on September 22

Microsoft is releasing the latest update for its widely used Office Suite for Windows on 22nd September.

There is good news for Office 365 Subscribers and Office users from Microsoft. Microsoft is releasing the latest update for its widely used Office Suite for Windows on 22nd September. On that day Office 2016 will be made available for all general consumers and Office 365 subscribers. In a blog post Microsoft confirmed the release date for Microsoft Office 2016.

Users with Volume Licence will be able to get Office 2016 from October 1. Interested users can also download a 32 bit Preview from Microsoft’s website. Although Microsoft has not disclosed prices for Office 2016.  Subscribers of Office 365 will get it free. It doesn’t feels likely that Microsoft will make the upgrade free for retail customers as it did for Windows 10.

Microsoft has already released a version of Office 2016 for Mac and now it is turn for the Windows Users. This version is more focused on data processing and Finding the features that are already available in Office.

New Features in Office 2016

Office 2016 is more focused on cloud technology and as it looks it will try its best to beat Google’s Docs. To do that Microsoft has added many new features such as co-authoring and real time document editing by many users on the same document. Microsoft is also trying to make it easy for people to find tools and features by introducing a new tell me bar. It is a text box right after the ribbon where user can enter a query and Office lists help or command below the box. Microsoft is also introducing new research features such as the ability to search and insert content to document right from web. There are some cosmetic changes as well, the apps now have a coloured title bar each app has different color such as Word has blue based on the color scheme. other flat themes from Office 2013 are available to use as well.

It will be interesting to see what Microsoft can add to an already great Office suite with the new Microsoft Office 2016.

 

Windows 10 Review : It is perhaps the best OS

Microsoft expects One Billion copies of Windows 10 installed in some years. Let’s see how Windows 10 stacks up on our expectations in our Windows 10 review.

[su_dropcap style=”simple” size=”5″]M[/su_dropcap]icrosoft has had a habit of messing up with every other Windows release. Windows Vista was a huge disappointment later came Windows 7 was a huge improvement, I think the same about Windows 8.x and Windows 10. Microsoft has made many changes and has found new ways to test and get feedback from users. New CEO Satya Nadella has made some changes on How the company works by giving away free upgrade to users. Microsoft expects One Billion copies of Windows 10 running on PCs, Tablets and smartphones in some years. Let’s see how Windows 10 stacks up on our expectations in our Windows 10 review.

windows 10 review
Unlike Other releases, Windows 10 matches the name with version number

Installation, Updates and Performance:

Installation was pretty straight forward and simple. I made a clean install which did not take much time. After Installation all the necessary drivers were installed automatically and I did not have to mess with anything. Although you have option to use Windows 10 via a local user account, Most of Microsoft apps such as OneNote and OneDrive require you to sign in using a Microsoft account. Users running Home versions of Windows 10 will get all Windows updates as they don’t have any option to ignore or disable windows updates. Users running Pro version of Windows 10 can defer updates for 8 Months. Torrent like technology called Peer to peer connections is used by default for downloading windows updates, you can opt out if you wish. Performance wise Windows 10 is good, even if it is not magically faster than Windows 7  or 8, still feels snappier on the same system.

It ain’t boxy but looks Modern ( and Minimalist )

Windows 10 looks and feels a lot modern than any other version release. Coming from Windows 7 I actually missed Transparency in title bars and other windows Aero stuff. Still UX is better than ever. Default Theme is good and users have options to customize it a little bit.

Windows 10 review
Not as good as Aero, still better than Windows 8

Desktop sideshow which allowed wallpapers to be changed automatically is now only able to switch wallpaper after 1 minute  ( at least ) comparing to 10 seconds in Windows 7. Start Menu is transparent and also has a blurred background. Clock and Action center also have blurred transparencies although you have option to turn these off.

Windows 10 Review: pre-installed Apps and software:

Windows 10 comes with some apps preinstalled mainly Groove Music, Xbox app, New Edge browser (more on that later) Music and TV app, A weather, calendar and A mail app along with some others. In games department Microsoft has included candy crush saga (which I removed the first) and a few others.

[su_pullquote align=”right”]Removing Candy Crush Was the first Thing I did on Windows 10[/su_pullquote]

New Music app looks and works just fine, still it lacks many important features such as equalizer and auto playlist. Windows Media Player is still here without any change. Default Calendar app is good enough for daily use. You can sign in using your Google account in calendar app which is nice because many people use Google Calendar for their day-to-day planning. Windows 10 also includes OneNote app which is fairly basic compared to Microsoft Office OneNote 2013. However it looks neat and works just as fine. You do need a Microsoft Account to use it. Other apps are also improved compared to the default apps in Windows 8.1. A Phone Companion app is included which helps users installing Microsoft Made apps on their Windows Phone, Android or iOS smartphones.

Edge: Not so cutting edge but better than IE

 

Edge is  browser based on an engine forked from Internet Explorer’s Trident engine. During my testing it crashed  a few times, still for most of the time it is stable enough. Edge works well with Cortana and gives suggestions and answers of some queries right in the search recommendations which is useful.

[su_pullquote]Edge does not currently has support for extensions and that sucks.[/su_pullquote]

Such as to know the weather you just need to type “weather” and current temperature will be shown to you on the screen. Cortana is also able to give you directions to an address given in the webpage. Edge does not currently has support for extensions which sucks and this is why I am still using Maxthon as default browser on Windows 10. During the review I also found that Microsoft has annoyingly made it really complex to switch default search engine on Edge. To change the search engine you have to go the website and then only from there you can add it as a default search Engine. Mozilla has already criticized Microsoft over Default browser options on Windows 10.

Windows 10 review
Edge Browser

Hello Cortana

It is a new intelligent digital assistant included in Windows 10. Cortana is not officially available in India and in order to use that I had to dig in region settings and change my region from India to United States. From that point it worked as expected. “Hey Cortana” command was disabled by default so if you want to make her listen every time you say “Hey Cortana” you will have to enable it in settings. In addition for setting reminders, Cortana now also handles all kind of searches either local file search or Internet queries. As obvious it uses Microsoft Bing Search engine by default. By Default you will have a big fat search box always on your taskbar, though you have option to change it just to an Icon or turn it off all the way.

Windows 10 review
Cortana

Windows Shell just got a lot better:

 

Windows 10 review
Finally, Virtual Desktops are here.

Windows 10 has several cosmetic and functional changes in the shell. First and most notable is the return of the start menu. Start Menu is back and it is completely overhauled. Hit the start button and you will see a windows 7 like most used pane on the left side and Windows 8 like Live titles on the right side. Search box is not visible, however typing anything starts searching. Metro Apps are now not full screen on Desktops and run in windows just like traditional software. Virtual Desktops are now included and enabled by default. By pressing Win+Tab or clicking task view button on taskbar you can access them. To move to previous or next desktop CTRL+WIN+Left or Right key can be used. A new  feature called Snap Assist now suggests you open apps to snap on the other side if you snap any app to any side of your display.

Windows 10 review
Snap Assist suggests Windows to snap on the other side of the screen.

Some Disappointing things

Windows 10 is pleasant to use for most of the time, it feels like a modern OS without slapping an ugly UI and that is good. Anyone coming from Windows 7 will feel like home within a few hours of use. Sad thing is that not everything is perfect. Some things feel incomplete at the moment with Windows 10. For an example, Settings apps is now a lot better that it was on Windows 8; still we have to dig in control panel to make some system wide changes.

Windows 10 review
There are still two panels to change user account settings.

Having More than one app to change settings is sometimes confusing.

 [su_pullquote]We still have to dig to control panel to make some system wide changes.[/su_pullquote]

Microsoft could have made settings app more better and removed the control panel altogether to make things straightforward.

Windows 10 also raises some privacy concerns because of its so tight integration to Microsoft servers. As an example Cortana phones home even for a local file search. Edge is definitely better than Internet Explorer, still it lacks some basic features such as Download UI can be made better. Photos app keeps crashing from time to time without reason and these app specific problems are more to be seen.

Review Verdict : Should You Upgrade or Skip?

Being free for users having genuine copies of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, I find no good reason to skip. However Windows 10 users should make some changes in their Privacy settings. There are a few areas where Windows 10 can improve but it is  polished enough to keep user excited and help him in  being productive. I will recommend all PC gamers to upgrade just because Windows 10 is the only OS to support DirectX 12. Other people also should upgrade. With Time Microsoft will definitely fix some bugs and Make Windows even better. Upgrade is free if you upgrade within one year of the release, so you don’t really need to rush. Even if you are holding and staying with Windows 7 ( or 8 ) Windows 10 is still good for future of PCs.

It Is Not Just a Start Menu: Windows 10 Has Much More

Windows 10 seems to be much more modern and pleasant to use than the Windows 8. In this article we will cover some new (and lesser known) features of Windows 10.

Redmond Street Giant Microsoft is doing hard work to make Windows 10 Perfect. After testing some technical previews of Windows 10 it seems to be much more modern and pleasant to use than the Windows 8. While people are taking most about the arrival of start menu back and Windowed metro apps there are a lot more new and changed features in it. We have already discussed many ways to get many new features of Windows 10 in Windows 7 or 8 in our blog post.

In this article we will cover some new (and lesser known) features of Windows 10.

Getting Windows 10 Features on Windows 8 and Windows 7

New SMOKING HOT DirectX:

DirectX has always been a part of Windows for while. It helped to get hope on PC gaming platform getting back on the right track. And gamers can now rejoice because you can expect drastic increase in gaming performance. DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 did a lot to increase gaming performance but it is being said that DirectX 12 is going to increase gaming performance way too better than the previous versions. May be more than 50%.

New Package Manager:

Those readers who have spent time installing and configuring Software using terminal in Linux know what we mean. It is being said that Windows 10 is coming with a package managing system. It can be comfortably used to install and configuring several new software. Although Package Managers are used by Power Users.

A bit enhanced Command Prompt:

No, CMD is not going to be totally revamped. It is just getting some nifty new tweaks, in Command Prompt of Windows 10 you will be able to use shortcuts to cut copy and paste text. As we all know that CTRL+C is used to copy and CTRL+V is used to paste text but in earlier command Prompt when you will try to do that in CMD in copy command ^C and in paste command will be ^V will be the result. That directly means you could not do that in Command Prompt. Thankfully this irritation is going to be removed.

Xbox Streaming is on the go with a Windows 10 PC

Windows 10 users who also own a Xbox One (not Xbox 360) you can now enjoy streaming Xbox games on your windows 10 computers. To make it more enjoyable you won’t just be able to use it to show off your gaming session but also you can use to play games on the Windows 10 PC once it is connected to Xbox One.

Although that doesn’t mean that you can install Xbox game on your desktop. You need to install it on the Xbox itself and then you can connect your PC to your home network and enjoy streaming.

Microsoft HoloLens

HoloLens (Picture below) is more than a virtual reality and it is a lot different that Google Glass. Unlike Google Glass Microsoft made HoloLens works on augmented reality. Which means you will be able to see a Mixture of both real and virtual objects in a merged environment. It is made clear that Windows 10 is going to support Microsoft HoloLens.

It Is Not Just a Start Menu: Windows 10 Has Much More

Continuum mode in Windows 10

Do you hate Charms in Windows 8? (I swear I do) despite being annoying these are pretty important for those who are using a Touch Screen. Especially on a tablet. In Windows 10 Microsoft has done some tweaks about that.

When you will be using your Windows 10 on a tablet without a mouse or keyboard you will see charms, a full screen start menu and full screen modern apps. If you plug your keyboard or mouse to the tablet you will be asked if you want to switch to desktop mode. If you agree to switch Windows 10 will automatically hide all the charms. Also apps will be running in desktop mode and start menu will no longer be maximized.

Spartan and Cortana will work together

As it is already been cleared that Microsoft is ditching its Internet Explorer and including a new web browser (code named project Spartan) and it will be fully backed by Microsoft virtual assistant Cortana. You will be able to perform searches and other stuff without touching your keyboard.

Microsoft is doing hard to make Windows 10 a worthy upgrade and after testing a few builds it seems that it is working. Windows 10 will be released in Q2 of 2015.

Microsoft you need to worry….. A lot

Microsoft is changed and all of that is not good. Let’s see what the matter is.

The Redmond Street Company Microsoft has been king of software for past few decades. We used to be a die-hard fan of Windows and other Microsoft products , But now the fan feeling is no longer in us. Microsoft is changed and all of that is not good. Let’s see what the matter is.

The Problem with Microsoft

God knows what Microsoft’s first priority is. They have a developed a really bad habit for a past few years which is throwing users features what Microsoft wants not what consumers need, No one even a tablet customer wanted a plain looking Modern User Interface, Android is not so plain and boxy but is really functional on touch screen.

We all agree Windows Vista was a failure it was not snappy and was really clunky. After learning their lesson the successor Windows 7 is still most loved OS. After the success of Windows 7, just to join the tablet race Microsoft almost neglected the normal PC user. Microsoft just slapped the Modern UI in our PCs even through it was not
working well with Mouse and keyboard.
Microsoft is really good at making software but they are now just focusing on new things not in what they have already mastered, let’s take an example- the windows media player is not upgraded since the release of windows 7, after windows 7 instead of Updating the UI and features of Windows Media Player they made a new Music app in windows 8 which is simply not as powerful as Windows Media Player also removing the Windows aero introduced
in Windows Vista  just by saying it was a resource hog was not a so good decision, sure it consumes more power but it would be a lot better if you gave the choice to customers.

Now the Competition is Tough

10 years ago thinking of a Microsoft killer brand would have been tough but today apart from Apple and Ubuntu customers do have choice. Now the alternatives are not only for name but some are even better than Microsoft Products.

RISING CHROMEBOOKS, BIRTH OF STEAM OS AND SO ON…

Microsoft you need to worry….. A lot
Google Chromebook

The Increasing sales of Chromebooks is a clear sign for Microsoft, the dominance in Netbook sector may be at risk. The games department where no other PC OS platform was so strong candidate then Microsoft, now has new excellent OS, the valve Made STEAM OS, even Ubuntu is getting better day by day. Apple’s MAC is also holding their ground so strongly.

Not Just in Software sector..

Making software is not the only sector where Microsoft is active, Hardware and Cyber space is
also where Microsoft is trying to break the grounds, the competition is so thought. Although Xbox One is great machine but really strong alternatives are their such as PS4 and Nintendo Wii U, the Surface is a really nice piece of hardware but is not selling like Apple made devices.

SO WHAT MAY HAPPEN?

Well Microsoft is not going to die , thinking of it will be so foolish, still Windows is used in almost 90% PCs (not in tablets) and is much more powerful that other alternatives, the software and gaming library is so huge than any other competitor, Microsoft Office is also almost unbeatable productivity suite. But hell yes the dominance may be at risk, the market share may decrease, not the total users. Just like Google Chrome better alternatives are showing up and they need to think about that.

Microsoft needs to wake up…

It is not so bad to learn from your mistakes and Microsoft has learnt their lesson from their Recent failures, what they need to do is instead of sticking users anything, give users choice – Like using the start menu or using Start Screen. Also they need to give priority to daily PC users not to dragging other electronic ecosystem costumers to their platform – that should be on the second place, also they have everything they need to create excellent software so they should use their resources. The Windows 10 is may be the next Windows 7 for us but it can be made much better then it currently is. They need to give a visual reboot to windows UI, make it feel like new. Increase the functionality of already included software (yes we are talking about Media Player, Note Pad and even Paint).

We know you can do it and it would be really good if you do it.

Image credits : Mike Mozart on flikr and slgckgc on flikr.