(Thanks to Robert McLaws for tweeting the information about how to get the Office 2016 test bits.)
I asked Microsoft if today's availability of the test bits was accidental or planned. A Microsoft spokesperson sent the following statement:
"Anyone can access the bits under the terms of the NDA. And what people are currently accessing is very early NDA preview."
Update: Oddly, after providing this statement to me, Microsoft has since removed access via the Microsoft Connect site to the Office 2016 preview bits. Maybe this signifies the public preview is close? Got me.
Microsoft is adding its "Tell Me" tool that's already part of Office Online and Office for iPad to the coming version of Windows. "Tell Me" allows users to ask how to accomplish a task in Office without having to wade through documentation or hunting around within the Office Ribbon.
There's also an automatic image-rotation feature to help users correctly position images in Office documents, the screen shots indicate, as well as a new "black" theme option for Office users (in addition to the current light gray, dark gray and white themes).
But Microsoft is extending its support of InfoPath Forms Services, company execs revealed at the end of January. Originally, InfoPath Forms Services was not to be updated after SharePoint 2013. But Microsoft has pushed that date out to 2016.
From the Office Blogs post update:
"As part of the update shared around the Evolution of SharePoint and the next SharePoint Server on-premises release, we are also updating the timelines for removal of InfoPath Forms Services components of SharePoint and SharePoint Online. Specifically, InfoPath Forms Services will be included in the next on-premises release of SharePoint Server 2016, as well as being fully supported in Office 365 until further notice. Customers will be able to confidently migrate to SharePoint Server 2016 knowing that their InfoPath forms will continue to work in their on-premises environments, as well as in Office 365."