If you really love Microsoft Office, Redmond is giving you a chance to try out new versions early. It’s called Office Insider, and it’s only available for Office 365 subscribers.
Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team, announced the new program in a blog post today, along with a few new features.
Office Insider, according to the blog post, “allows Office 365 Home, Office 365 Personal and Office 365 University subscribers to opt in to pre-release builds of Office 2016 for Windows.”
So this is not like the Windows 10 Preview, which was free to anyone willing to try out the new operating system — this is for paying users only. The idea is that you’ll try the software out and provide Microsoft with valuable feedback. Sure, you might run into a few bugs, but you’ll also be the coolest kid in your office!
What kind of new features does the program offer? Well, one mentioned is the new PowerPoint designer feature, which makes it dead-simple to combine a photo and text to make an attractive slide.
There’s also a new Morph effect, which you can use to transition between slides . Excel users can try out a template that scans your calendar and gives you insights about it, like how many hours you work each day and how much time you spend in meetings. OneNote users can embed online videos in their notes. And more tweaks will come shortly.
All of these features will end up in Office eventually, but if you want to try them now you need to join the Insiders program. Do that and you’ll get new things to play with…erm, work with…once a month.
Right now the program offers previews for the Windows version of Office, but don’t worry, Mac users. Microsoft says the program will include test versions of the Mac software as well. There’s no word on mobile yet.