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The new Office—October feature update

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Today’s post was written by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president on the Office team.

Welcome to our first new Office update post in which we share the features we are delivering to our Office customers across Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Office Online. This month we expanded Skype integration in Office Online, introduced an Office Online extension for Chrome and delivered improvements in Office on Android and Office 2016 for Mac.

We have several exciting new updates this month and hope you enjoy them!

Skype voice and video integration with Office Online

Giving customers better ways to work together is core to the new Office. Last month, we delivered Skype in-app integration with Office 2016 on the desktop and we promised that was just a first step. Now we’re taking Skype integration to the next level, first in Office Online and, over time, in the desktop apps, as well. Today we are announcing Skype voice and video integration in Office Online (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote Online) and in Outlook.com, so that you can now see and speak to your Skype contacts. The integration creates a natural, collaborative experience in which you can co-author and have a conversation using instant messaging or video calling right from within a document. Best of all, your instant messaging history stays connected to the document, so that the next time you open it, you can pick right up where you left off. Office Online exists to help you collaborate with anyone, anywhere, with just a browser. Now with Skype communication built right in, you can get more done, faster.

Skype integration with Office Online will be available to customers worldwide with a Microsoft account in November.

A quicker way to access and create Office documents on Chrome browser

The new Office October feature update 2 - 1

We want to bring Office to you wherever you are. If you use Chrome, there is a new extension that lets you create and open Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Sway documents using Office Online right from the Chrome browser. You can also use the extension to open and view existing Office documents stored on OneDrive, on OneDrive for Business and on your computer right from Chrome. Click here using the Chrome browser to get the new Office Online extension.

Additional Office Online enhancements

One of the coolest things about being able to update Office regularly is that we can now address customer feedback more rapidly. Based on your suggestions, this month we added an enhanced Navigation pane to help you work with large documents within Word Online. We also added a number of formatting improvements with Excel Online and made performance improvements to PowerPoint Online.

Office on Android

We put our Office on Android apps on a diet! You will see that our latest update reduced the apps footprint by 40 percent, and we’re going to keep working to get them down further. We also improved the sign up/sign in experience, so you can get started more quickly with your Microsoft account or Office 365 school or work account. Additionally, the Office apps are also now enterprise-ready with Android M support for Enterprise and compliant with Android for Work.

If you’re an Office 365 subscriber, you can now use Presenter View in PowerPoint on Android to show and present your slides like a pro. View your presentation with speaker notes on your Android phone or tablet while projecting to a large screen.

Visual Basic Editor features come to Office 2016 for Mac

A lot of developers asked for improvements to the overall Visual Basic Editor (VBE) on Office 2016 for Mac, and we’re pleased to deliver several top customer requests. You now have the ability to Add Modules from within the Project Viewer, Add Library References using a Dialog and use shortcut keys for debugging. We also recently added two new commands to the Visual Basic object model for Mac: GrantAccessToMultipleFiles and AppleScriptTask and a new conditional, MAC_OFFICE_VERSION. For more information, see the VBE improvements section of the VBA improvements in Office 2016 blog post.

Get started

We have an exciting set of new features and functionality coming in the next few months and we look forward to sharing them with you as they become available. In the meantime, thank you for using Office and please continue to share your feedback and feature requests with us at Office UserVoice.

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10 comments
  1. Is Skype voice and video integration with Office Online coming to Skype for Business and Office 365 E3 users too? Please say yes.

    • Since you asked nicely, YES! 🙂 All kidding aside, we plan to offer this by starting with IM only. It will be available to North America with others geographies to follow. Eventually we add audio and video as well. We are ironing a few wrinkles in the near term. When its available we’ll let everyone know! Thanks for asking (especially so nicely!)

  2. Hi

    When Can we have Excel 2016 or 365 collaboration on desktop version. I just need a rough timing. I am planning to upgrade my company Office system. We believe collaboration desktop version increase our productivity.

    Many Thanks in advanced.

    • Marc Faerber

      Hi Sunrise–we are busy at work bringing co-authoring to the Office apps across all platforms but are not ready to share dates at this time.

  3. Thumbs up for this.. but, I installed the add-in for Chrome, but why can´t I use my O365-login? When I wanted to write this comment, I couldnt use that login either, had to use my Facebook-login which seems a bit crazy to me..

    • Hello Jonna – What happens when you try to log in with your O365 login? Are you seeing an error notification (bottom right corner of the screen) when you log in?

  4. Please, please, please can we have access to all Word features for Word Online users with Office 365 subscriptions like that available to Android users with 365 subscriptions.

  5. I noticed all of this Google stuff coming. Are we going to eventually be forced to add higher security methods if Google stuff keeps getting added? We don’t want to have add anti-keystroke logging functions. That’ll kill our performance trying to keep Google out.

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