After teasing a new look for its woefully outdated Office for Mac suite last year, Microsoft today has finally announced Office for Mac 2016, a long-awaited update to Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for OS X. The new versions, available in pre-release form today as part of the Office for Mac Preview, feature the same familiar design that Microsoft has already unveiled in OneNote and Outlook for OS X.
New features include improved support for Retina displays, better syncing and collaboration tools via OneDrive and SharePoint, support for full-screen modes in OS X, and new design and layout options that put the software on par with its Windows-based counterpart. Office 365 subscribers will also be able to sync changes and real-time edits between platforms, letting users seamlessly edit a document between their Windows PC, iPad, and Mac.
The final version of Office for Mac 2016 is slated for release in the second half of 2015. All users can participate in the Preview program, but an Office 365 subscription will be required once the final release ships. There’s no word yet on pricing or availability of a standalone version that does not require Office 365.