Microsoft is upping its chat game for real-time co-authoring in Office Online.
Office Online users will see a dedicated chat button appear inside Microsoft PowerPoint and Word in the coming weeks. Just click that button while you’re collaboratively editing a file to start chatting with everyone working on the document. As an added bonus, Microsoft says you’ll be able to continue any chats started in Office Online on Skype on the desktop or your smartphone after you’ve closed the file.
Why this matters: Microsoft is working hard to make its services into cross-platform tools and that means Office needs to be a suite of top-flight web apps. The lack of in-document chat was a glaring omission from Office Online and it’s good to see this feature coming soon to PowerPoint and Word. But offering an in-document chat app isn’t enough. The real test will be how well chat works—not how easy it is to start it.