Office for Mac 2016 Preview now available to download

Microsoft has released the public beta of Office for Mac 2016 on its Microsoft Office webpage, most notably bringing a redesign and Retina support to the suite of apps. The beta can be downloaded for free and provides an alternative to Apple’s iWork suite.

There are five apps within the suite: Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint and Outlook. All of them have been optimized for the Mac product that you’re using, and Microsoft says the new apps make full use of the latest Mac features, including full-screen mode and Retina displays:
“The new Office for Mac user interface is designed from the ground up to take advantage of the latest Mac features, including retina display and full-screen view support.“
The beta is a whopping 2.5GB download and takes close to 6GB of your hard drive space after it installs. We’ve installed the beta, and many of the apps pack a slick new look that honestly gives iWork a run for its money.

Under new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadel, it’s clear the company is putting focus on its cloud services. Analyst Ross MacMillan of Jefferies predicts $4 billion of additional annual revenue for Microsoft from the Office unit very soon, and calls it one of the most important parts of the company.

A subscription to Office 365 costs $10 per month, or $100 per year and gives you the right to download Office software to up to five computers. It’s a pricing model that Microsoft has used for Office for iPad. Right now the beta doesn’t require a subscription.

You can download the beta from Microsoft’s website. It’s supported only on the very latest version of Mac OS X, Yosemite (10.10).

Do you still use Office products on your Mac, or have you switched over to Apple’s own offerings?

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