The News: Last November, Microsoft took the official wraps off a preview of its new, lightweight unified Office mobile app for iOS and Android. Today, February 19, Microsoft is making this app generally available worldwide to users on those mobile platforms. (Note: Microsoft actually made the Android version of the app available yesterday in the Play Store.) Read the full news item on ZDNet.
Analyst Take: The new app from Microsoft focuses on bringing together a set of features and functionality that really puts the mobile experience first. To date, the mobile apps for Office, which have been separate have served as useful viewers but really haven’t been very good for much else and as people are growing to be much more active in remote usage of tech on mobile devices, it was time for Office 365 to build something that people would really find day to day value.
A few of the features that really caught my attention were:
1. Word Dictation: I love this. We are moving to an increasingly AI world and NLP is one of the most immediate examples. We can talk so much faster and often more coherently than we can write. So if we can dictate our thoughts on mobile into a word doc that would be amazing. I could see AI being invaluable to edit speech irregularities, pauses and misused words to make the process even better.2. Powerpoint Outline Builder: This represents exactly how I build my Powerpoint decks. The ability to sit on a flight or with a few spare moments build out a deck based upon a flow of consciousness or a list of topics is a great capability. If the design quality is good, this could become a really great way to efficiently build Powerpoint decks.3. Excel Cards: Mobile devices aren’t really a great place for editing anything. Large spreadsheets are especially difficult to navigate even on larger format mobile devices. The cards will give full editing to a small selection of the Excel document. This won’t be great for building comprehensive pivot tables, but for basic navigation and updating things like sales forecasts becomes possible.
Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.
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Image Credit: Microsoft