For the first time in 20 years, Office has same codebase on all platforms, Microsoft engineer announces today

Jan 19, 2018 08:08 GMT  ·  By  ·  Comment  · 
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Microsoft has just released a major update for the Mac version of its Office productivity suite, reaching one important milestone, as for the first time in 20 years it uses the same code base for all versions across all platforms.

Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac version 16.0.0 (build 18011602) isn’t technically a completely new version, but an update from 15.41.0, getting new features and improvements that were already available for users participating in the Office Insider program.

But just as Erik Schwiebert, Principal Software Engineer in the Apple Productivity Experiences group at Microsoft, noted in a tweet, “for the first time in over 20 years, Office is again built out of one codebase for all platforms, Windows Mac, iOS, and Android).”

With this release, Microsoft is making “massive code alignment under the hood, bringing new features such as real-time collaboration in Word and PowerPoint, more formulas and multithreaded recalc in Excel,” he continued.

New features in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

The changelog for this new version comes with both feature improvements and security updates, as Microsoft has fixed remote code execution vulnerabilities documented in CVE-2018-0792, CVE-2018-0794, and CVE-2018-0793.

Word is also getting features to work on documents with other users at the same time, with thumbnails shown in the upper-right corner of the window to indicate who’s also making edits to a document. Changes are also saved automatically in the cloud to see others’ changes, and the version history lets you roll back to previous versions at any moment.

These collaboration tools are also available in Excel and PowerPoint, and the spreadsheet app also gets more charts and functions, quick access to sites and groups, plus multi-threaded calculation. PowerPoint is being enhanced with laser pointer support for the mouse in Slide Show, as well as options to trim media quickly.

All these features and improvements are available right now for Office for Mac users, and they can be installed with update to version 16.0.0.

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