Menu
Business users get live chat in Office Online

Business users get live chat in Office Online

Microsoft takes another swing at Google's productivity suite with the new feature

Microsoft's attempts to catch up with Google in the online collaboration space took a step forward Wednesday, when the company announced that it's giving business users live chat in Office Online. 

The new feature will allow users to discuss documents stored in SharePoint and OneDrive for Business using chat sessions powered by Skype for Business.

When more than one person is working on a shared document inside Word, Excel, OneNote or PowerPoint Online, they'll see a chat button show up in the Web app's toolbar. When clicked, it'll open a chat sidebar so everyone with the document open can discuss it. 

It's an enterprise-grade improvement to the Skype chat Microsoft already offers for consumers using Office Online, as part of the company's push to better compete with other productivity suites that feature real-time collaboration. Skype for Business chats compliment other functionality in Office Online, like support for real-time co-authoring of documents shared between users.

The chats aren't designed to replace traditional document collaboration tools like leaving comments and tracking changes, but they can help a team of people all looking at the same document to better work together in a more rapid-fire way. 

It's a feature that has been core to Google's Docs productivity suite for quite some time, and this update means that businesses using Office 365 have another reason to consider sticking with Microsoft rather than switching to one of its competitors. 

Microsoft has recently rolled out a number of other updates to Office, including new watch face support in Outlook on Android Wear and the launch of SharePoint for iOS, which the company announced earlier this month

In addition, Microsoft is offering discounts for consumers who want to buy either Office 365 Home or its subscription-free Office Home and Student 2016 software. 

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Office 365Microsoft

Slideshows

IN PICTURES: Ingram Micro Innovation hits Auckland with Hewlett Packard Enterprise

IN PICTURES: Ingram Micro Innovation hits Auckland with Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Ingram Micro completed its nationwide roadshow in Auckland last month, kicking off its Innovation Hour series with Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Uncovering the latest in storage, networking and servers, the event outlined key market trends for resellers in 2016 and beyond.

IN PICTURES: Ingram Micro Innovation hits Auckland with Hewlett Packard Enterprise
IN PICTURES: FireEye celebrates channel at 2016 Partner Conference

IN PICTURES: FireEye celebrates channel at 2016 Partner Conference

FireEye welcomed 143 channel partners and distributors to FireEye's 2016 annual Partner Conference, FireEye A/NZ Momentum - held at Establishment in Sydney. Delegates heard from senior trans-Tasman channel leaders, marketing and the product divisions in the morning, with FireEye customers, incident responders and threat intelligence analysts sharing knowledge during the afternoon.

IN PICTURES: FireEye celebrates channel at 2016 Partner Conference
Show Comments