Microsoft Office 2016: A Good Alternative to Google Docs?


A few years since bringing in its major update, Microsoft finally ushered its Office into the modern era of professionalism.

The latest version, Office 2016 (for both Windows and Mac users), is the first in its generation to contain sharing and collaborative features that match that of Google Docs. The question now is: will the updates finally make a dent in bringing back PC users who have switched to apps that Apple and Google possess?


Pre-Installed Research

With Microsoft 2016, the company now includes its Smart Lookup feature. It’s essentially a research tool backed by the Bing search engine. When in use, a user can click on a certain word for Bing search to run and acquire further information about the word —- without leaving the confines of PowerPoint, Excel, or Word.

Google Docs offers a similar research-based tool for a number of years now. But it’s nothing as robust as the Smart Lookup functionality or even that of Google’s search engine.

Finding Needed Tools

Microsoft is saying that the Office apps contain a wide range of functionality that can difficult to recall where they are in different menus. So the team from Microsoft decided to make a new search tool for the user to easily spot them. Picture it as a Clippy version that’s less of a nuisance and more handy in many ways.

Skype Calling Possible

In order to make collaborative efforts a lot simpler, Microsoft included Skype for Business to Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. Its Share menu for every app will showcase which user gained access to which particular file. Hover on a name and you’ll spot a pop-up containing links to sending a message or starting a voice/video conference with Skype. That means no longer having to open a separate Skype app on the PC.

Tools for Free

For workers, students, teachers, or those who want to edit, write, make spreadsheets, and build up on presentations, it’s a bit difficult to take down the free tools Google is offering. While Google Sheets, Slides, and Docs lack some functionality as that of Office, for many, it’s more than enough to get things done.

Worth the Purchase?

Office 2016 is more than just fresh paint in today’s era. It’s a major upgrade to Microsoft’s own productivity program. It does a great job in making useful changes to how a user can collaborate on one file or the whole project. Office has gone a long way over the years. The additional components a user receives in the 2016 version are alluring. That is, if the user is willing to pay a little bit more for them.

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