Keeping its promise to customers, Microsoft announced new features for the Office 2016 Preview: real-time collaboration and simplified file sharing. This latest feature—known as “real-time presence”—will first be added to Word 2016 for Windows and Mac OS.
The addition of new features is the latest result of Microsoft’s development and testing procedures. Last month when Microsoft invited users to participate in its Office 2016 Preview it had mentioned a regular addition of new features to the Office 2016 Preview for testing. A number of updates to the Office 2016 Preview were released this month.
Despite the announcement, new features will not be immediately available to all million plus users of Office 2016 Preview. The real-time presence feature will be initially rolled out only to OneDrive for Business users. Microsoft corporate vice president Kirk Koenigsbauer has mentioned in the official blog that other users will be able to access the feature soon.
Real-time presence as Microsoft calls it is similar to real-time collaboration supported in Google Docs where all team members can work on a single file simultaneously.
To use this feature the document must be stored either in OneDrive or SharePoint. Currently, it works only on similar platforms. For example, the real-time collaboration is only possible between desktop users or web users (where both users are accessing the document on the same platform).
The Office apps have also been updated to make file sharing easy. Pressing the Share button on the ribbon of Office 2016 will remind the document’s author to save it online on SharePoint or OneDrive. Once the document is saved online, a document pane will open allowing the author to work on the document and also invite others to work on the file.
So what do you think about this new Office 2016 Preview? Do you expect Microsoft to introduce more features? Please share your comments below.