Office Online's Skype Chat Features Soon to Work With SharePoint Files
Office Online's Skype-powered chat capabilities are coming to files stored on SharePoint and OneDrive for Business. Skype Translator, meanwhile, learns yet another language.Skype-enhanced co-authoring, one of Office Online's signature collaboration features, will soon work with files on SharePoint and OneDrive for Business, Nikhil Nathwani, a program manager for Microsoft's Office Core team revealed in a blog post. Microsoft first enabled Skype Group chats in Office Online in late 2014, which allowed users to discuss changes to Office documents with co-authors. Instant messaging histories remain connected to a given document, allowing users to pick up where they left off and regroup after a break or the end of the workday. The company followed up last year by integrating Skype voice and video, allowing users to take an even more conversational approach to their co-authoring stints. While handy, Skype chat functionality in Office Online has a major downside for enterprises. It only works with Office files including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, stored on OneDrive, Microsoft's consumer-grade cloud file storage, data synchronization and share service, reminded Nathwani. However, Microsoft will soon switch on the feature for customers that use SharePoint and OneDrive for Business instead, he said.
In the meantime, Microsoft is providing co-authors with an easier way to switch between text chats, voice calls and video chats. Skype chat participants can now turn instant message conversations into group voice or video calls by clicking on new icons that appear at the top of the chat pane.