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Microsoft Teams reveals Excel Live for real-time spreadsheet collaboration

Just when you thought Microsoft Teams meetings couldn’t get any more fun, the company goes and pulls a stunt like adding real-time Excel spreadsheet editing.

Announced at the company’s Inspire 2022 gathering, Excel Live will enable colleagues to work on those Excel spreadsheets together during Teams meetings.

So if you’re working on budgets for the forthcoming quarter with the company accountant, he or she can just drop in the figures as you chat over a cordial afternoon Teams soiree.

The feature is relatively seamless, with the workbook appearing on screen, while participants’ video feeds are shifted to the side bar. It will arrive within teams next month, Microsoft says.

With hybrid work on laptops continuing, as the world adjusts to the post-pandemic period, Microsoft continues to work on tools that ensure colleagues don’t skip a beat, even if they’re not in the same room.

“Until now, sharing spreadsheets within a Teams meeting has been a fairly one-sided experience. You share a file, and everyone else watches while you make the updates,” Microsoft says. “But what if your group could use that meeting time to get the work done together? Building on what we’ve learned and the evolving needs of today’s workplace, we’ve created an enhanced collaboration solution for working on Microsoft Excel workbooks—Excel Live—empowering your group to collaborate in real time within your Teams meetings.”

Teams is also getting a like-minded video clip sharing feature, which will enable users to record and send short video messages to their workmates. Microsoft Whiteboard-powered collaborative annotations are also coming to the workplace communications tool, which has had its fair share of knockers down the years, but is beginning to come into its own as it integrates elements from Microsoft 365.

Today’s features are part of the Live Share functionality that Redmond first announced at Build earlier this year. Developers are also able to access a Teams SDK and build new extensions for the app.

Elsewhere at Inspire, Microsoft also announced new features for its Viva explore engagement and networking app, including the ability to add Stories akin to what we commonly see on other social platforms.

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