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Microsoft on Thursday announced that Office 2016 for Mac — Â a totally revamped version of its venerable productivity suite — Â is now available to any Mac user with an Office 365 subscription.
The updated suite includes redesigned, rewritten versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote. Each application now features a metro-style user interface, which brings the design of Microsoft's stalwart software package in line across all the platforms for which it's available.
A slew of new features have also been added, though the apps have yet to quite reach feature parity with their Windows cousins. Mac users can now invite colleagues to edit Word documents together in realtime, for instance, but crowdpleasers like Excel's Quick Analysis are still missing.
AppleInsider got an early look at the new suite in March,Â and we've been using them as our daily drivers since that time. The changes are almost without exception for the better, and the community interaction during development — Â Microsoft says users of its preview have provided more than 100,000 pieces of feedback — Â point to a renewed Microsoft commitment to the Mac.
For now, Office 2016 for Mac is only available to users with active Office 365 subscriptions, which start at $69.99 per year. To soothe the inevitably ruffled feathers of consumers used to purchasing their software outright, Microsoft promises "updates and new features for Office 365 customers at least once per quarter."
For those who still don't want to subscribe, Microsoft says that a separate version for standalone purchase will be available in September, though pricing has yet to be revealed.