The consumer technical preview of Microsoft's next Office suite for desktop, Office 2016, is now available to download for all users willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The general release Microsoft Office 2016 is expected to be made available in the second half of 2015. The original preview, released last year, was available only on an invitation basis.
The Office 2016 Consumer Technical Preview is now available to download from the company's Microsoft Connect page and requires users to sign into the Connect Test Site program before registering, and completing various surveys.
It may take a while for Microsoft to announce all the new Office 2016 features. Right now, the two notable new features for Office 2016 include a new Tell Me tool to help users get acquainted with Office and an automatic image-rotation feature.
Tell Me is already available on Office Online and Office for iPad, and it's headed for Office 2016 for Windows. With Tell Me, users can ask the help assistant how to perform a task in Office.
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"There's also an automatic image-rotation feature to help users correctly position images in Office documents, the screenshots indicate, as well as a new 'black' theme option for Office users (in addition to the current light gray, dark gray and white themes)," ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley stated.
How to download
If you're interested in previewing Office 2016, you can head over to Microsoft's Connect site and sign up. The sign-up process asks you to enter the email where you'd like to receive an invitation to participate in the beta, but as Foley confirmed earlier, any email address will work. Just remember that what you're seeing and testing is under NDA.
After entering your email address, you'll be able to download the necessary bits to install the preview on your system.