Office 2016 "RTM" was released to the public on September 22 2015. Office 365 Home, Personal, and University subscribers can download it now by logging into their account online and clicking Install, or wait until October 1 2015 for the automatic update. Office 2016 is expected to be released to Office 365 Business subscribers and volume licenses in February 2016. Office 365 First Release has access to it now. If you are on First Release, use the install link for the next version of Office. Anyone who used the Preview can leave it installed and will remain in the early release 'branch' (similar to Windows Insider program.)
Office 2016 Preview is now available to the public. The trial is the "click to run" subscription model, however Microsoft provided a key for those who aren't subscribed to Office365 software.
Home subscribers can get a copy of Office 2016 Preview by logging into the account at Office.com. Select Language and Install Options then Additional Install Options. Select Office 2016 Preview from the Version menu.
Office 365 Business subscribers (with a software subscription) can install it if their administrator enabled the First Release program. If so, install Office 2016 Preview from the My Software page (Gear icon, Office 365 Settings). Go to Try the next version of Office then click Install.
If you don't currently subscribe to Office 365, get the Preview trial key at //products.office.com/en-us/office-2016-preview.
Should you install it? While it's safe and very stable, I don't recommend installing it unless you are comfortable using Pre-Release software and are willing to possibly be inconvenienced. For example, don't install it if you are in the middle of writing your thesis.
Is there a BCM2016? No, and there will not be a BCM 2016. If you use BCM, you cannot use Office 2016.
Office 2016 Preview was released first to IT Pros and Developers. In order to use the beta you need a subscription to Office 2013/2013. Only the click to run version is supported at this time; an MSI version (for volume licensing) expected at a later date. A public preview for consumers will be released within a few weeks.
The most obvious change is the Colorful theme.
It’s not exactly what everybody who hates the whiteness of Office 2013 was asking for, but I like it. In the colorful theme, the title bar area is the color of the program icon – Outlook and Word are blue, Excel is green, etc. There is also a new darker gray theme. It's gray, it's darker. It's not the black many people hoped for.
The next most obvious change is with attachment handling. Attachments on messages you receive are big buttons in the attachment line. Each button has a menu with attachment options: open, save, preview, delete.
When you send a message and insert an attachment, the Insert menu lists the 12 most recent files you’ve worked with.
If the link you choose is stored online, you are offered the choice of Inserting links or a copy of the attachment. It needs a little (or a lot ) of work as it doesn’t offer to upload locally stored files to OneDrive or OneDrive for Business and add a link or use the link to files in the OneDrive sync folders. (The Insert Hyperlink function in all versions of Outlook works the same way, it's just not as "pretty".)
Outlook 2016 offers better small screen support in portrait mode. When Outlook is approximately 650 pixels wide, the folder list collapses. When a message is selected for reading, it covers the message list. It is great on 8” tablets but you don’t need a small tablet to try it out; just adjust the width of Outlook’s window to 650 pixels.
Click the Back Arrow in the upper left to switch to the message list.
One big change for some Exchange users is that Outlook 2016 only supports auto account setup for Exchange accounts; you can no longer create the account manually using the server names. If your organization doesn’t publish autodiscover information, you cannot create the account in Outlook.
Other things to look forward to in Outlook 2016: multifactor authentication support and improved search capabilities. On the junk mail filtering front, UK and EU TLDs were added to the Blocked Top-level Domain list.
LinkedIn is gone but Facebook contacts are coming to Outlook. The current Facebook provider is now called Facebook Feeds and is available to all Outlook users. Facebook contacts are available only to users with Office 365 Exchange mailbox that supports Facebook Contacts (the Business accounts). I’m still trying to figure out what Facebook Contacts bring to Outlook, besides profile photos.