Today, Microsoft is launching a preview for Office 2016, aimed for IT professionals and Developers. The early build is reportedly very beta, with Microsoft’s Kirk Koenigsbauer saying the preview “doesn’t yet contain all the features we’re planning to ship in the final product.” He does add that those who want an early look at Office 2016 should expect monthly updates. In addition to that, Microsoft is also releasing an early preview of Skype for Business, which replaces Lync for enterprise use.
Skype’s review seems meant to prime Lync customers for the changeover. Here’s how Microsoft phrased it in their blog post, which went on to expound on how Lync customers can better prepare for Skype:
Skype for Business delivers an expanded Lync feature set and enterprise-grade security, compliance and control to IT. It also enables people to search for and connect with anyone in the Skype network—inside or outside their organization. And Skype for Business is built right into Office, so features like presence, IM, voice and video calls, and online meetings are an integrated part of the Office experience.
Again, the release of Office 2016 is aimed at IT pros and Developers, so there isn’t much forward-facing detail to get into. Microsoft is bringing Data Loss Protection to Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Outlook has new MAPI-HTTP protocols, foreground network calls, multi-factor authentication support, and better email performance among other things.
If you’re interested in this technical preview, Microsoft suggests you head to their Office 2016 Preview Program page.