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Microsoft announces September Office Insider build for Windows

Microsoft today released a new Office Insider build for Windows users on the Slow ring. Version 16.0.7369.2017 is the first build to be announced since September 7, when the company offered the first Fast ring build. Interestingly, today's update was never announced for Office Insider Fast users, so it would seem that both rings will be receiving it at the same time.

The firm is also changing the way that version numbers work in Office, as this build is also known as 1609 (7369.2017). It's similar to the way that versioning works on Windows, where the first two digits mark the year and the second two mark the month. It is interesting, however, to see Microsoft deviating from the "16", which marks the major version number of the product; in this case, Office 2016.

Here's what's new for Insiders today:

  • Ink replay: To understand what’s behind the ink you see on a PowerPoint slide, click Draw > Ink Replay to rewind and replay the ink strokes. You can use this feature to follow a sequence of handwritten notes and drawings, review step-by-step instructions, or see the order in which somebody else marked up the slide. (Feature requires an Office 365 subscription)
  • Better recordings: In PowerPoint, you can add a Recording tab to the ribbon, create a presentation made up of recorded slides, screen recordings, and inserted video, and then share that recorded content to be viewed remotely on Docs.com. You can also embed quizzes to assist with remote learning and make your presentation more interactive, as well as change the ink color right from the palette in the recording pane. To learn more, see Record your slide show in PowerPoint. (Feature requires an Office 365 subscription)
  • Accessibility built right in: In Outlook, we’ve improved keyboard and assistive technology experiences for reading email, scheduling meetings, and adding a signature.

  • New data transformations and connectivity enhancements: In Excel, add parameters to your queries, or create new queries from Merge or Append operations. You can also use the Web connector to preview web pages. (Feature requires an Office 365 subscription)

  • We’re listening: In any Office 2016 app, click File > Feedback to tell us what you like or don’t like, or to suggest new features. (Feature requires an Office 365 subscription)

Microsoft usually releases these builds monthly, so the next one will likely show up around this time in October. Of course, if you're on the new Fast ring, you should get them more frequently.

To check for updates, open any Office app and go to File -> Account -> Update Options -> Update Now.

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