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Office 2016 for Mac has finally arrived, but not everyone can use it

Office 2016 for Mac Launch

It’s been an incredibly long wait, but Office 2016 for Mac finally launched on Thursday. After months of testing the software through Microsoft’s preview program, Mac users can now download the completed productivity suite, which includes new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote.

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“If you already use Office on a PC or iPad, you will find yourself right at home in Office 2016 for Mac,” writes Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office Client Applications and Services team “It works the way you expect, with the familiar ribbon interface and powerful task panes.”

“Mac users will appreciate the modernized Office experience and the integration of Mac capabilities like Full Screen view and Multi-Touch gestures. With full Retina display support, your Office documents look sharper and more vibrant than ever.”

The preview appears to have been a huge success, as Koenigsbauer says that the Office team was provided “over 100,000 pieces of feedback” which resulted in the release of seven major updates between March and July, including “improved Mail Merge in Word, Propose New Time in Outlook and support for External Data Connections in Excel.”

Frustratingly, there’s a catch if you want Office 2016 on your Mac before the end of the day — you either need to be a student or have an active Office 365 subscription. If you aren’t in college and don’t plan on subscribing to Microsoft’s service, you’ll have to wait until September when the company begins offering a one-time purchase option for the suite.

Check out some of the new features of Office 2016 for Mac in the video below:

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.