Microsoft Office 2016 And You- A TEDTalk Perspective

Whenever a major release drops, whether it be software or gadget, we tech users always have to anticipate change. And with the new Microsoft Office 2016 release, did we ever!

Microsoft Office 2016 was officially launched last week. And as you may know, the major focus for this update was twofold: collaboration and cloud. The latest updates mean faster, more effective ways for staying connected and getting things done.

But under the shiny new features, there’s a deeper question: what do these features really mean for us as users? We’re talking about the bigger picture. Whenever a new tool has us working in different ways, there’s a lasting impact—culturally, socially and personally.

The hype of a new tool usually won’t allow us to see its full impact on our lives though. And so we thought it would be interesting to examine the Office 2016 latest features through a different lens with related TEDTalks. TEDTalks are mind blowing presentations that are always insightful, engaging, and able to boil big complex ideas right down to the bone.

We collected some of the most relevant and related videos on the technologies, issues, and concepts the new Office 2016 features seem to be targeting. Call this TEDTalk 101 For Office 2016. These timeless lectures will broaden your perspective on what the latest features could mean for users on a bigger scale.

Real-Time, Co-authoring And A New Modern Job Market

One of the biggest highlight about Office 2016 is the new collaborative approach the suite is taking with real-time editing in documents for the desktop apps. You’re able to open, edit and save files in the cloud from your desktop. This feature will now let you work flexibly with others in a single document from disparate locations whenever and wherever you are.

To Wingham Rowan, policy entrepreneur, this type of remote, on-the-spot and flexible way of working speaks to the way the current job market is developing.  But he explores the idea even further by examining ways in which existing financial technology can help fuel this new modern job market.

Office 365 Groups And The Real Power of Teamwork

With Office 365 Groups in Outlook 2016, you’re in constant touch with your team projects. You get started with a shared inbox, calendar, cloud storage, and even a shared OneNote notebook. With these features, Microsoft is paying more attention to users and how they can effectively work together as a group.

Margaret Heffernan, management thinker and former CEO of five companies, narrows it down even further. In her TEDTalk, she reflects on where the real value of a team lies. Her talk can put Microsoft’s collaborative strategy into another light. Not only are they making teamwork technologically easier, but they’re making it emotionally and socially easier.

Excel Power BI Prepares Users For Bigger Data

With Office 2016, everyone is anticipating is the new Power BI features in Excel 2016. Users can take advantage of these features to deal intelligently with more complex datasets. As a big step for Excel, there’s a lot to expect. Data scientists and Excel experts are predicting how Excel will impact business intelligent workflows. How will it affect the way we work with data? More importantly, how should we be working with data?

Susan Etlinger, industry and data analyst with Altimeter Group, shares her opinion on the implications of working with data and how its analysis should be approached. Fortunately, this lecture applies to all big data professionals, both seasoned veterans and new Excel Power BI users alike.

Skype For Business—And Your Productivity?

This is literally IM, screen share and video chat plus your documents, all rolled into one. In Office 2016, Skype for Business offers you the option to start a real-time session for co-authoring from any conversation or meeting. But is this too disruptive? It’s well-known that the value of meetings in the professional world are much debated upon. Are they a waste of time or are they invaluable?

Jason Fried, software entrepreneur and co-founder of 37signals, focuses on this growing debate by first exploring why work just isn’t happening at work. We’re working in moments, in odd places, and at different times, habits which ultimately uncover a bigger issue. With Skype integrated into your apps, how productive will you be?

Are Tell Me And Smart Look Up Pushing Us Towards Smarter Computers?

The apps in Microsoft Office 2016 are getting smarter. With features like Tell Me and Smart Look Up, Office apps are learning more about your patterns and your content as you work. They offer contextual searching, advanced organization, and advanced commands at your fingertips.

And it may be farfetched to compare these features and apps to AI, but the concept of an algorithm that learns or the idea of a technology that thinks is essentially what we’re starting to see in these apps. Is smart technology on the road to becoming too smart? To explore this popular and timeless topic, we included this TEDTalk by philosopher, Nick Bostrom, that explores the idea of what happens when computers become smarter than we are.

Hopefully, these TEDTalks will get you more reflective and mindful about Office 2016 and the broader themes and implications it touches upon. Technological advances happen around us all the time. It’s easy to get lost in the excitement of a new product release. It happens to us, too. Whether it’s small a change in your work routine or a major software release, the trick is seeing them for what they are.