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Microsoft announces Office 2016, coming later this year

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Office universal
The touch-friendly 'universal' app for Windows 10

Microsoft has announced a new version of its Office productivity suite is on the way to accompany the forthcoming Windows 10 operating system.

Following the firm’s blockbuster event in Redmond on Wednesday, Microsoft says the first versions of Office 2016 will hit Windows 10 previews in the coming weeks.

The Office 2016 suite, will keep the focus on traditional keyboard and mouse users, rather than the touch-focused version for smartphones and tablets.

The Office "universal" apps for Windows 10, shown off during the event yesterday, will exist as a separate entity and will deliver touch-focused experience across all of the devices, from phones and tablets, right up to the newly announced Microsoft Surface Hub.

In terms of the desktop versions, Julia White, the GM for Office Product Management, wrote: “We are hard at work on the next release of the Office desktop suite that will be called Office 2016. (Unexpected, I know!).”

“We will have more to share on Office 2016 in the coming months, but this suite will remain the comprehensive Office experience you’re long familiar with, best suited for a PC with keyboard and mouse.

“We have compelling new experiences coming as part of this Office suite–stay tuned to the Office Blog for more details. We expect to make Office 2016 generally available in the second half of 2015.”

Windows 10 features: All you need to know

The launch of both desktop and touch platforms this year will give Windows users all of the tools heading into the new operating system cycle later this year.

Exciting times at Microsoft.

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