The Office 365 subscribers are getting some sweet treats soon; for the Insiders, the soon is… now. Microsoft is bringing real-time collaboration to the Office suite, one app at a time.
This month’s update brings real-time collaboration to PowerPoint, adds the ability to upload attachments to the cloud directly from Outlook, and a new Shared with Me tab in the Office apps on the desktop.
The PowerPoint collaboration
It has taken Microsoft quite a few years to get here – but the wait has been worth it. Google was perhaps the first one to introduce the idea of real-time collaboration over the internet while working on documents; Microsoft – while late to the party – offered the feature, with the Office Online suite.
Office Online – while pretty good – is no replacement for the actual Office suite on the desktop, so the Office team has been working hard on bringing the collaborative features to the desktop apps.
Office Word on the desktop, gained real-time collaboration last year, and now it is coming to PowerPoint on desktop – for now, though, it is limited to the Office Insiders.
If you do want to try out real-time collaboration for PowerPoint but don’t want to join the Office Insiders program – it’s already available for PowerPoint Mobile and the Office Online web app.
The Outlook attachment
This feature is coming to all Office 365 subscribers – not just the Office Insiders. The Outlook desktop application is the most feature-rich e-mail application you could find, mostly because it’s been around for decades; today, it gains a new feature.
Outlook on the desktop will now let you transform a ‘traditional attachment’ into a shared cloud document – much like Google already does on Gmail with Google Docs.
You can specify sharing permissions for the recipients of the email with the attachment, all from within Outlook.
There are a few other minor changes too; the Android apps were updated recently, and now provide notifications for changes in shared documents. These notifications are coming to iOS as well, in next month’s update.
Meanwhile, it is getting easier to open shared documents on desktop – a new tab has been added to all Office desktop applications, aptly named ‘Shared with Me.’
The new tab shows documents that are shared with you – quite obvious – and allow you to get to these documents with a single click.
The ‘Shared with Me’ tab is available to all Office 365 subscribers – Insiders or not – in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
You can read more about the update, at Microsoft’s official blog.