On July 9. 2015, Microsoft released Office 2016 for Mac – the first major Microsoft release for OS X in years. The software is now available to Office 365 subscribers – including Northeastern students, faculty and staff – for download through the Office 365 portal. This new version Microsoft Office is only available for computers running OS X Yosemite (10.10), and the software must be manually downloaded and installed.
What is different?
Office 2016 for Mac includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and, for the first time, OneNote. The overall look and feel matches Microsoft Office 2013 products, bringing it more in line with the Windows, mobile and web-based experience of these applications. If you have been using Office on these other platforms, the experience will be very similar. Like Office 2013 and other Office 365 products, Office 2016 for Mac can be cloud-connected. This new version is intended to pair with the web-based and mobile applications, allowing for seamless document editing on any computer or device.
Should I upgrade now? The ITS perspective
Since Office 2016 for Mac has just been released, ITS has not yet had the opportunity to test its compatibility with all of Northeastern’s networks, applications and systems. Currently ITS cannot guarantee that those who upgrade will have a seamless transition. ITS will provide further information once our testing and analysis is complete.
- Faculty and staff on Northeastern-managed Macs – The majority of Northeastern-managed Macs run OS X 10.8 and 10.9, and these operating systems are not compatible with Office 2016 for Mac, so this software will not run on those computers. At this time, Microsoft has not released the enterprise version of Office 2016 for Mac, which is required for ITS to install the suite on Northeastern-managed Macs. Once the enterprise version is released, we will begin work on including Office 2016 for Mac in a future OS X Yosemite (10.10) Mac image configuration.
- Unmanaged Northeastern-owned Macs and personal Macs – As with any new software release, there will likely be issues identified and addressed by Microsoft over the coming weeks. It is always a good idea to weigh being an early adopter of a new technology with the risk inherent in any software upgrade.
Downloading Office 2016 for Mac
If you do choose to upgrade, please note that while the Service Desk staff will always try its best to be of assistance with issues that may arise, this software is not currently supported by ITS. To download the software, please follow the directions posted here on our site:
- Faculty/Staff – How To: Download Office applications through Office 365
- Students – How To: Download software through the Microsoft Student Advantage program
NOTE: You will only see Office 2016 for Mac if you are accessing the portal on a computer running OS X Yosemite (10.10); if you are on an earlier version of OS X, you will see Office for Mac 2011.
For more information about Office 2016 for Mac, please visit Microsoft’s blog post. You can also explore the new Lynda.com course “Office for Mac 2016 New Features”. Log in to Lynda.com through lynda.northeastern.edu with your myNEU username and password, then search for the course title. Microsoft has posted Office training and tutorials and the Office 2016 for Mac Quick Start Guides.
Ars Technica – A quick hands-on with Office 2016 for Mac
Gizmodo – Office 2016 for Mac Now Works Just As Well as It Does on Windows
ZDNet – Microsoft makes Office 2016 for Mac available, first for Office 365 users