Microsoft introduced live co-authoring feature for Windows Excel through a beta update launched on Tuesday. The collaborative editing tool will help testers to co-author same file from inside the app.
Its support for real-time collaboration is its step to keep up with Google’s G-suite offering. The latter has been offering real-time collaboration for years and putting efforts to attract enterprise customers who already use Microsoft Office.
By allowing users to edit documents in real-time, it brings a change to client applications, which were earlier restricted to single user editing.
The feature has been a major focus of Office 2016, which Microsoft launched nearly a year and a half ago, in which it enabled co-authoring on the desktop version of Word, and later expanded it to PowerPoint as well.
To start using the co-authoring feature, the user must have file saved in one of Microsoft’s online file storage systems (OneDrive, OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online). The profiles of the users will be displayed on the top, by clicking on which a user will be taken to where the other person is currently editing.
Microsoft also introduced a new beta feature of auto-saving the documents on Windows, which will auto-save any Word, Excel or PowerPoint document in company’s cloud storage services while users edit them. Other productivity industry giants like Google, Apple etc. have already implemented these features in their tools.
Microsoft for now, has rolled out the new feature for only people who are the part of the Office Insider Program’s Fast ring, and expects to extend reach to new users soon. The people who don’t have the beta version of the desktop app can use Excel Online along with Excel for Windows Phone, Android and IOS (which is still in company’s roadmap).