Microsoft updates Office 365 to improve collaboration capabilities

Sean Dudley
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley on 22 January 2016
Microsoft updates Office 365 to improve collaboration capabilities

Microsoft has made a series of updates to Office 365, including improvements to the platform’s collaboration capabilities and new inking tools.

PowerPoint Design and Morph will both now be available on additional platforms, having been made available in Windows last month. Office 365 consumer subscribers with Macs will also now be able to get Office Insider builds, allowing them to get first access to new features.

The new inking tools for Office in iPad and iPad Pro will make it easier for users to use their finger or Apple Pencil to work on documents, presentations, spreadsheets and notes.

A new Draw tab will now appear in the Office ribbon, while the app will also sense the approach of an active pen to enable inking begin immediately. Hand-drawn shapes can also be quickly transformed into perfect looking shapes. 

These features will be part of a new set of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote releases on iPad and iPad Pro.

Real-time co-authoring will now be available on PowerPoint Mobile for Windows tablets, allowing users to see what others are typing as and when it happens. Real-time presence is also being introduced to PowerPoint 2016 on Windows desktop, which will let users see who else is working on a document and where.

Other updates include the availability of basic co-authoring and AutoSave capabilities for Office Insider participants, the availability of Morph in PowerPoint for iPhone, iPad and iPad Pro, and the availability of Office Insider for Mac users. 

Given the breadth of devices and platforms on which Office is available, these new features will be rolling out across platforms over time as part of the regular updates available from Office 365,” said Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for Microsoft’s Office team, in a blog post. “These capabilities are mostly available with today’s releases for iPad and iPad Pro, and will be largely rolling out to Office Insider participants for Office 2016 on Windows desktops, Office Mobile on Windows tablets, and Office on Android tablets in the coming weeks.”

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