Soon, Microsoft Teams will let you edit Excel spreadsheets in meetings with other people.
Teams also has annotations that can be worked on together in real-time
Microsoft is making Excel available in Teams meetings right away. Excel Live is a new way for people in a Teams meeting to work on Excel spreadsheets at the same time. It’s one of three new features coming to Teams that continue Microsoft’s focus on working in different ways at the same time. Teams is also getting video clips that can be shared in chats and collaborative annotations that let people draw on top of content during meetings.
Excel Live is a part of Microsoft Teams’ Live Share feature, which the company explained earlier this year. In an interview with The Verge, Nicole Herskowitz, vice president of Microsoft Teams, says, “What it does is let you edit a workbook live and in real-time during a Teams meeting.” “People can just jump in and start editing an Excel workbook without ever leaving the meeting screen.”
You don’t even need to have Excel installed or running on a device. You can set permissions and use features like tracking changes just like you would in a regular version of Excel. “This is using full Excel,” says Herskowitz. “Excel Live is built on top of our Fluid Framework, which allows for this kind of experience.”
This neat integration of Excel should arrive sometime in August, and it will complement a new collaborative annotations feature in Teams that launches today. Collaborative annotations let all meeting participants draw, type, or react on top of any content that’s shared in a meeting. It’s basically the same tools you’d find in Microsoft’s Whiteboard app, but you don’t have to open a separate app or import content to start annotating.
You can make things stand out, put Post-it notes on the screen, or just draw all over. “It lets you have those whiteboard-rich experiences on any screen,” Herskowitz says. “It makes pretty much any space better for working together.” Collaborative annotations are meant to be temporary, so they only last as long as a Teams meeting does. Herskowitz says, “Right now, you can’t export anything, so you’d probably take a picture or a screenshot to save it for later.”
Video Clip is the last big thing that Microsoft Teams has added. With this new feature, anyone in a Teams chat can record and send short video clips. It’s basically a video voicemail, and it’s a lot like the video clips that Slack started offering last year. Video clips can be up to a minute long, which makes them great for asynchronous communication, like when you want to leave a video message for a coworker in a different time zone.