Microsoft Office 2016 is evolutionary and not revolutionary like Office 2013 was. As software becomes more advanced and ends up doing so much already, it becomes harder to make revolutionary apps. However, a few upgrades and minor tweaks sometimes justify the cost of an upgrade.

Since upgrading your main office program can affect your business continuity plan (one out of every seven people in the world and 83% of Fortune 500 companies use Microsoft Office), here are the items to consider:

  1. What features stand out in Office 2016?
  2. What problems might occur if I upgrade to Office 2016 now?
  3. Is it really worth the upgrade if I already use Office 2013?

What features stand out in Office 2016?

  1. Real-time team collaboration: If you work on the same document with other team members, this new tool may be worth the upgrade alone. You can all be on the document at the same time and you’ll be able to see what others are working on in real-time and see their edits. This is great for time-crunched assignments or when working across different time zones.
  2. New chart types in Word, Excel and PowerPoint: In an ever-increasingly visual world, new ways to present your data and help you stand out from others can be valuable when presenting your new ideas.
  3. Excel is even faster: A new set of features named Get and Transform in Excel provides fast data gathering and shaping capabilities. This is perfect for advanced data analysis as it allows you to more quickly connect, combine and refine all of your data sources at the same time.
  4. Smart lookup feature: Available in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, this new feature allows you to check facts and explore words and terms in your document via Web-based information. Highlight a word of term and see results for the Web right in your document — great for research reports.
  5. Tell Me feature: Available in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio and Outlook, this feature is great for the 90% of users who aren’t aware of all the features and options in Office 2016. Type what you are trying to accomplish and the Tell Me feature will automatically guide you through how to get it done. This will turn standard users into power users and help with daily productivity.

What problems might occur if I upgrade to Office 2016 now?

Microsoft Office 2016 does not use any dramatically new code, so it should work fine if you are currently using Office 2010 or 2013. The problems with upgrading to Office 2016 will occur with the programs you use that interact with Office. Many popular programs for accounting, document management, etc. have not been certified to work with Office 2016.

We have clients who lost the ability to email out of certain accounting programs, for example, and we had to take them back to a previous version of Office. Also, you need to be aware that some of the documents you create and save in Office 2016 may have issue opening in earlier versions of Office. You will need to have your IT person do a thorough check of all programs your business uses, even calling those software vendors, to ensure that your programs are certified to work with Office 2016.

Is it really worth the upgrade if I already use Office 2013?

As was mentioned earlier, Office 2016 is evolutionary and not revolutionary. If you work on the same document as your co-workers or often find yourself working at different locations and need access to the same documents, then Office 2016 is beneficial. If you are a power user (especially Excel), then Office 2016 will pay for itself with enhanced analytical speed and new charts for presentation and analysis. If you are a standard user who mostly types documents, works with single or two-page spreadsheets and uses Outlook mostly for email (versus room and conference scheduling, etc.), then you can wait to upgrade to Office 2016.

About Nova Mesa Computers

Nova Mesa Computers is a premiere, Phoenix, Arizona-based builder of servers, workstations, laptops, desktops, storage systems and digital signage computers. Nova Mesa specializes in working with clients to determine what hardware will meet the needs of the software being used. Standard and custom configurations are available using standards-based components and a strong attention to computer-building detail. We use better computer components and follow it up with better service. When you call for support, you’ll speak with the people who build the computers, not someone reading off a script. Contact Nova Mesa Computers at 623-580-6848 (Toll Free: 1-855-978-6353) or at www.novamesa.com.