March Updates for Office 365 Include Excel Co-Authoring, Microsoft Teams, More

Posted on March 28, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Office 365 with 10 Comments

March Updates for Office 365 Include Excel Co-Authoring, Microsoft Teams, More

Microsoft today detailed the new features and improvements that it delivered to Office 365 users this month. Key among them are new Excel co-authoring capabilities, Microsoft Teams, and new OneNote inking and accessibility updates.

“Office 365 provides the broadest and deepest toolkit for collaboration between individuals, teams and entire organizations,” Microsoft corporate vice president Kirk Koenigsbauer explains.

Here’s what’s new in March.

Co-authoring in Excel 2016 for Windows

Following similar functionality in Word and PowerPoint, Microsoft has enabled co-authoring capabilities in Excel for the Windows desktop (Excel 2016). (This feature is also available in Excel Online and Excel Mobile on Android, iOS, and Windows 10; Excel for Mac support is coming soon.)

“This allows you to know who else is working with you in a spreadsheet, see where they’re working and view changes automatically within seconds,” Mr. Koenigsbauer says.

Co-authoring in Excel 2016 for Windows is rolling out for Office 365 subscribers in Office Insider Fast, Microsoft says. Co-authoring in Excel for iOS is currently available for Office Insider. The feature is generally available in Excel Mobile for Android and Windows, and in Excel Online.


Microsoft is working to expand the availability of AutoSave beyond mobile versions of Office: Office 365 subscribers in Office Insider Fast now have access to AutoSave in Word, Excel and PowerPoint on Windows desktop, for files stored in SharePoint Online, OneDrive and OneDrive for Business.

“With AutoSave, you can stop worrying about hitting the Save button, whether you’re working alone or with others,” Mr. Koenigsbauer explains.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft delivered its long-awaited Slack alternative, called Microsoft Teams, earlier this month to all Office 365 commercial customers. And last week, it shipped Microsoft Teams to all Office 365 Education subscribers as well.

“We are thrilled by the enthusiasm for Teams and look forward to seeing how customers build Teams into the way they collaborate every day,” Koenigsbauer says. “We’ll also continue updating Teams along with our other Office 365 apps and services.”

Microsoft Bookings

Microsoft announced the availability of its new Microsoft Bookings service last week as well, making it easy for small businesses to schedule and manage appointments with their customers. Microsoft Bookings is now available to all Office 365 Business Premium subscribers.

OneNote updates

Microsoft made a variety of inking and accessibility updates to various OneNote versions this month.

OneNote for Windows 10 received improvements to the Ink math that helps graph handwritten equations and solve systems of equations. It’s available to all Office 365 subscribers.

OneNote for Windows 10 was also updated with a new Accessibility Checker that analyzes your notes to ensure that they can be consumed by people with visual impairments. This feature is available to all users of OneNote for Windows 10, and is also shipping in various Office applications for Windows desktop, Mac, and Online.

OneNote Online users can now access the new Draw tab, which provides access to more inking tools. It’s available to all customers.

Visio integration with Excel and PowerPoint

Visio users on Windows deesktop can now create an Excel flowchart using new Data Visualizer templates. And a new Slide Snippets pane will help Visio users export diagrams and snippets as slides in a PowerPoint presentation.

Data Visualizer is available to users of Visio for Windows desktops for Office 365 subscribers in Office Insiders Slow. Slide Snippets is available to all Office 365 subscribers.


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Comments (10)

10 responses to “March Updates for Office 365 Include Excel Co-Authoring, Microsoft Teams, More”

  1. Chris_Kez

    Love it! The Office team is just rolling.

  2. boots

    I hope AutoSave will be an option that can be turned off. Not being able to turn AutoSave off is the worst thing about OneNote.

  3. Travelrobert

    Finally Excel co-authoring. Long awaited at our accounting office.

  4. lvthunder

    How long are these features going to be just for Office Insiders. I'm still waiting for the transition from clutter to focused inbox on my Outlook Desktop Client.

  5. LeFrenchFab

    Does the co-atuhoring include Office 365 Home? I was not sure because you also talk about Teams that is not included in the Home version if I remember correctly. Thanks.

  6. KevinCust

    So how does major/minor version history work when it is auto-saving all the time I wonder? Surely it won't constantly fill the version history with minor revision timestamps if that feature is enabled on the sharepoint document library.

  7. wbhite

    What if I'm a standard VL customer of Office desktop? Will I get those Excel co-authoring features as well?

  8. SvenJ

    The Office Insider program confuses me. I can afford to have a spare/separate device on the Windows Insider program, even one on Fast and one on Slow, while leaving the production PC on production OS. Is Office Insider tied to your Office 365 license/MSA account, or can you opt for different levels on different installations? I can't have all my instances of Office on the bleeding edge. Some need to be stable.

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