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Office 365 Gets New Word, PowerPoint and Outlook Features (networkworld.com) 99

New submitter Miche67 writes: As part of the July 2016 update to Office 365, Microsoft is adding several features across the board to Word, PowerPoint and Outlook. Word, however, is getting the biggest new features -- Researcher and Editor -- to improve your writing. "As its name implies, Researcher is designed to help the user find reliable sources of information by using the Bing Knowledge Graph to search for sources, and it will properly cite them in the Word document," reports Network World. "[Editor] builds on the already-existing spellchecker and thesaurus to offer suggestions on how to improve your overall writing. In addition to the wavy red line under a misspelled word and the wavy blue line under bad grammar, there will be a gold line for writing style." The new features are expected to be available later this year. In addition to the two new features added to PowerPoint last year -- Designer and Morph, Microsoft is offering Zoom, a feature that lets you easily create "interactive, non-linear presentations." "Instead of the 1-2-3-4 linear method of presenting slides, forcing you to place them all in the order you wish to display, presenters will be able to show their slides in any order they want at any time," reports Network World. "This way you can change your presentation order as needed without having to stop PowerPoint or interrupt the display." As for Outlook, Focused Inbox is coming to Office 365. Focused Inbox separates your inbox into two tabs. The "Focused" tab is where all of your high-priority emails will be found, while everything else will be in the "Other" tab. Outlook will learn from your behavior over time and sort your mail accordingly. In addition, @mentions are coming to Outlook 365 and Outlook for PC and Mac, "making it easy to identify emails that need your attention, as well as flag actions for others."
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Office 365 Gets New Word, PowerPoint and Outlook Features

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  • So in other Words, (Score:5, Informative)

    by The Real Dr John ( 716876 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2016 @06:27PM (#52595257) Homepage

    they didn't add any new useful features except to force more searches through Bing.

    • by msauve ( 701917 )
      It's all clueless hype.

      The "Focused" tab is where all of your high-priority emails will be found, while everything else will be in the "Other" tab. Outlook will learn from your behavior over time and sort your mail accordingly.

      That's a non-sequitur. High priority emails are those with a Priority:urgent header. There's nothing to learn, it's a simple, straightforward rule, which has been done for decades by any decent MUA. If they're doing something different, they shouldn't call it "priority.'

      • by ShaunC ( 203807 )

        Moreover, most MUAs can be set to ignore the X-Priority, X-MSMail-Priority, etc. headers altogether. Everyone's email looks the same to me, so a few times a year I get to take an angry call from someone asking why I haven't replied to their urgent priority message yet. Sorry, but "Subject: data export for October" isn't as urgent as you think it is, and the guy who sent "Subject: Utility work at Chicago datacenter tomorrow" with a normal priority header is actually going to get attention first. Outlook's re

      • by morcego ( 260031 )

        High priority emails are those with a Priority:urgent header.

        Except that most antispam software treats that as a clue it's not really high priority, but spam.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It's all clueless hype.

        No, it actually is not. And this is from a person who really despises Microsoft and has no intention to upgrade from Windows 7.

        That's a non-sequitur. High priority emails are those with a Priority:urgent header. There's nothing to learn, it's a simple, straightforward rule, which has been done for decades by any decent MUA. If they're doing something different, they shouldn't call it "priority.'

        The priority you are describing is what the sender of the email is stating.

        That sender-stated priority may or may not have nothing at all to do with what you consider to have a high or low priority, which is what the feature is about.

        So, the sender's priority may or may not factor in to the overall classification, and will most likely still be able to show up in red or whatever styl

        • by msauve ( 701917 )

          it actually is not.

          Yes, it most certainly is. The point flew over your head, you just didn't hear the "whoosh" because of how far over your head it went. "Priority" is a long time, well defined term with regard to email. Everyone does email priority, which makes this PR release hype. Whatever MS is doing, they're wrong to call it "priority."

  • by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2016 @06:29PM (#52595267) Journal

    Word rarely does what I want it to do so I've turned off most of the "help". Once we're forced to upgrade to this crap this will be more cruft to disable.

    I can't wait to hear from our users when they whine about not being able to get their work done because Word is trying to be "helpful".

    Word for Office 365: Revenge of Clippy

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Now it's almost caught up with Hyper-Card.

  • The only good thing about PowerPoint was that it forced people to think about what they were going to say and in what order.
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2016 @06:59PM (#52595431)
    >> Researcher and Editor

    which was codenamed "Clippy", right?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I suppose this confirms LibreOffice has almost caught up in the interoperaton stakes.
    MS had to introduce new incompatability features.

    • My Office 2008 has a couple incompatibility "features" with the version the rest of my office is using... So I decided to try Libre Office again. It has gotten pretty good, although there are a few things I find mildly annoying. Just might switch the office over to it, no real reason at this point not to, at least from what I see today.

  • How I wish that I could Cut & Paste what I wanted to quickly and easily - just like in the old days. Cutting text in Word is - always - a nightmare and it's suggestions are - always - less than helpful. I agree let's go back to the functionality of the 2000/3 version. Thank Buddha I still have a couple of versions installed. Word 'functionality' is an oxy... If you've ever tried to get anything done with Tables or moving text round then it's taken you way longer than it used to.
    • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2016 @08:47PM (#52596003)

      If you've ever tried to get anything done with Tables or moving text round then it's taken you way longer than it used to.

      Me: "I want to move this paragraph a little to the left."
      Word: "No, I'm going to fuck up the entire document instead."

      Me: "Insert an extra-indented bullet point here."
      Word: "Excuse me while I ruin all your formatting and renumber everything from the start of your thesis."

      Me: "Remove this line from the Table Of Contents."
      Word: "HEY! Look at all the extra shit I found and slammed into the Table Of Contents!"

      • I have never rage quit anything as hard as when I rage quit MS Word during my picture heavy study assignment the other day. It's all a bit of a blur now, but I distinctly remember the hate, the absolute hate I had for all things Microsoft after it complete fucked my assignment. Hours were lost. :( But, from every down there's an up. That day I gave up on Word for ever, my friends reminded me that I had Powerpoint installed, and needless to say that all my assignments are done, rightly or wrongly, in Powerp
      • Re:Cut 'n Paste (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Thursday July 28, 2016 @01:18AM (#52597013)

        And this is what we get when somebody tries to use a word processor for complex document layout. This is what's behind all the bloat in Word: people using the wrong tool for the job.

        I know people do it all the time, but that doesn't mean it ever made sense. Typesetting and layout should be mostly independent of content creation. When you try to combine the two dynamically, this kind of crap is just bound to happen.

        You want to do layout and actual decent typography? Use a tool designed for it. InDesign works. LaTeX is good.

        Or heck, learn how to use styles and proper global formatting settings in Word, rather than direct formatting hacks everywhere... And suddenly a lot of this crap won't happen.

        (P.S. I hate Word with a passion and rarely use it except when forced to. And Word is buggy. But if this stuff happens too often, it's likely also because you're trying to do things like you're still using a typewriter instead of the right features or even the right software application.)

        • Word makes it difficult sometimes to use it as a word processor. In particular, I find it's implementation of styles somewhat clunky and it is painful to create and manage tables, figures, and pictures. The fields also have odd behavior that hasn't been updated in decades. They keep bolting stuff on, but not fixing the underlying warts - presumably for compatibility. The result is several different "layers" on the document, with a combination of new and old objects that you can stick on various layers, each

        • And this is what we get when somebody tries to use a word processor for complex document layout.

          I couldn't agree more, but Microsoft promotes Word as a tool that can do all of these things. Look at any of their promo stuff and it shows Word being used as a layout tool, a graphics design tool, etc etc.

  • by Trogre ( 513942 )

    As in the video conferencing software that has pretty much replaced Skype in academia and business?

    Or another Zoom?

  • by brasselv ( 1471265 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2016 @08:40PM (#52595977)

    you know, without hacks, 3rd party synchronizers, gapps subscription, etc etc.
    just painless straightforward two way synchronization like almost any other calendar client does.

    genuinely interested to know if it works. last time I checked it was a nightmare.

    • by Gaccm ( 80209 )

      Doesn't look like it. The crazy thing is that Windows 10's default mail and calendar apps seamlessly work with Google calendar. Are the codebases really so different that they can't import that feature into Outlook 365?

      • Excel alone has it's own completely vertically integrated team who maintains their own compiler... doubt that there is much shared code between Excel and the other Office apps, let alone Windows 10.

        • Yup, but I doubt it's a "technical issue" anyways...
          Plenty of 3rd parties are using the Google Calendar API to update back and forth - so it cannot be rocket science.

          More likely that it's a battle of corporate overlords ("do we have more to gain or more to lose, if we allow this?")

  • Is Excel still a useless shell of the desktop client with no live collaboration that Google has had for the past 10 years?
  • Not yet! I'm not done bitching about the last new features!
  • Every document used to be simple. Every document used to be direct. Every document used to depend on no software. What about now?
  • Search? (Score:4, Funny)

    by davidshewitt ( 1552163 ) on Thursday July 28, 2016 @09:16AM (#52598813)
    The feature I'd like to see in Office is a search bar that finds the button you're looking for on the ribbon.
  • "the wavy blue line under bad grammar"

    I don't see any wavy blue line. Network World doesn't use Word, I surmise.

  • I am concerned that because of the ubiquity or Word/Office, many corporate sheep are already unjustifiably using Microsoft tools as the final arbiter of proper grammar/writing style, and will now start to use them to determine the veracity of all knowledge.
    That puts Microsoft in one hell of a powerful position that they have already proven themselves to be far to untrustworthy to actually be in.

A motion to adjourn is always in order.

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