Microsoft has released a preview of Office 2016, which you can download from the Office Web site (a 2.66GB download) and install on any Mac that supports it. The latest version of Office offers an interface that is optimized for OS X Yosemite, bringing a flatter look, and better integrates Office with Microsoft’s cloud services. As with any new software suite, you might be wondering whether or not you can install and use it on your Mac.
At its basics, even if you have a speedy and relatively new system, unless you have Yosemite running then you will not be able to install Office 2016. Unfortunately, and likely because of programming restrictions and service support in Yosemite, this is the only system requirement for Office.
- iMac (Mid-2007 or newer)
- MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
- MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
- Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
- Xserve (Early 2009)
Note that since Yosemite requires 2GB RAM or greater, this will also be a requirement.
As a result of this, if you want to try Office 2016 and are using OS X Mavericks or prior, then you can download and install Yosemite from the App Store as a free upgrade, provided your Mac supports it.
Once installed, Office 2016 will be continually updated as new releases are issued, until the final build is available later this year. Microsoft has not yet discussed pricing options for Office 2016.
When installed, you will see your new Office Apps as separate applications within your Applications folder, instead of being enclosed in a separate Microsoft Office subdirectory. The installation will not overwrite any prior version of Office; however, do keep in mind that with multiple versions on your system, you will have more than one official handler for Office document formats. Therefore, you may inadvertently trigger one Office app to open when you intend a different one. You can change this by getting information on an Office document and using the Open With section to set the desired application for handling that document.