Office 365 proves that Software can be successfully deployed as a Service (that’s what Software as a Service (SaaS) means!). The subscription product by Microsoft has been a major success for businesses, as well as home users.
Today is the first day of the Ignite event in Atlanta, and Microsoft gave us a preview of what is to come for Office 365.
For starters, PowerPoint and Sway are getting a new cloud-based QuickStarter. You will be able to start building a presentation in seconds with curated outlines – complete with Creative Commons-licensed images and videos.
Excel will now also let you visualize data from a spreadsheet onto a Bing-powered map. Along with this, a new feature called ‘Tap for Word and Outlook’ will let users look up existing documents and information across their organization’s database. This will allow them to integrate already-existing data into a project they are currently working on.
Office 365 is also getting some extensive analytical capabilities as well. Microsoft Delve Analytics have been revamped and renamed to Microsoft MyAnalytics. The service will allow users to compare their performance with their colleagues.
Microsoft is calling these features ‘intelligent features’ – the idea is to use mass machine learning and AI to figure out patterns. ‘Tap for Word and Outlook, for example, wouldn’t work if Microsoft couldn’t go through all of the data an organization produces and find patterns within.
These features might look simple at first sight; the features are built like clockwork – simple on the outside, complicated inside.
Bing-powered maps in Excel and ‘Tap for Word and Outlook’ are coming to Office 365 users sometime later this year. Some of the other features mentioned are either already available or will soon be available.
The addition of cloud-powered tools to the Office suite is a welcome change. Platforms such as Google Docs already offer some of these features (and more) due to their cloud-first nature, but the Office suite is more powerful and flexible. The addition of these features to the Microsoft Office suite can make the competition irrelevant.