Microsoft to add new features to Office 365 throughout 2017

Microsoft to add new features to Office 365 throughout 2017
Updates include Bitcoin for Excel and real-time translation and transcription for Skype meetings

Rebecca Gibson |

Microsoft is to add multiple new feature to its Office 365 cloud productivity suite throughout 2017, including Bitcoin for Excel and real-time translation and transcription of Skype Meeting Broadcast.

Part of Microsoft Skype for Business, the Skype Meeting Broadcast application allows enterprises to host and broadcast meetings to a large audience. This will enable users to automatically share the closed-captioning transcript from a meeting with the audience. The audience can choose to have the transcript translated into English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, and German.

Meanwhile, Excel will be able to recognise, format, calculate and analyse numbers expressed in Bitcoin currency. The new feature will be available for Excel running under Windows 10, Android, Mac OS and iOS, and will include Excel Mobile versions.

Microsoft will also add new data gathering and shaping capabilities to the Power Query section of the Excel Data Tab. Power Query provides an intuitive and consistent experience for discovering and connecting to a broad range of data sources, such as Azure databases, Hadoop, Salesforce, Facebook, and even third-party websites.

OneNote, which is being heavily marketed at the education sector, will also be enhanced with several new features to make it easier to transfer access control between users. There are also plans to make it simpler and more intuitive for users to share OneNote notebooks.

Office 365 is also set to become more secure in 2017. Microsoft will add multiple new and updated administrative features, including the ability to establish broad policies limiting access to the enterprises' Office 365 applications based on location. There will also be more options for limiting access to specific Office applications based on the user and their permission status.

“In its continuing effort to make Office 365 the be-all and end-all of enterprise and business productivity software, Microsoft has laid out an aggressive rollout plan for 2017,” said Martin Butler, account executive Globals at Microsoft, in a LinkedIn blog post. “New features for Office 365 will be released every month during the year, and if your enterprise is in the fast track programme, you’ll be seeing the new features very soon indeed.”

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