Microsoft wants feedback on what to add to Excel Web App

Microsoft added a number of new features to its free Excel Web App in June, including a way to view workbooks that have freeze panes, This week, the company revealed a list of possible new features that it is thinking about adding to Excel Web App, but they also want to get some feedback from their users as well.

In a post on the official Excel blog, Microsoft goes over how the development team comes up with what new features to add to the free web app, and at the right time. They consider feedback from SkyDrive and Office 365 users, along with how the app compares to competing products. It also takes into account opt-in anonymous user data and plain old feedback from anyone else, including "Excel users we meet in Starbucks."

The team then creates a formula (in Excel, naturally) that takes all of the feedback into account and then ranks the new features they want to put into the Excel Web App in order of importance. The blog also has a partial list of features that are under consideration for adding to the free app:

  • Adding and Editing Freeze Panes (they are already viewable)
  • Adding and Editing Comments (they are already viewable)
  • Android Tablet Support
  • Editing Files with VBA
  • Chart Editing
  • Viewing, Moving, and Resizing Shapes
  • Loading XLS files in O365 (already works in SkyDrive)
  • Print to PDF
  • WEBSERVICE Functions
  • Common Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Custom Sort a Range (sort on multiple columns)
  • Insert an Image
  • Hide/Unhide Rows & Columns
  • Reorder Sheets
  • Show Aggregates for the Selected Range in the Statusbar
  • Rename a Spreadsheet from within Web Excel
  • Drag and Drop Cells in a Sheet
  • Protect Sheets from Being Edited by Others
  • Insert and Modify Apps for Office

The end of the blog entry contains a link to an online survey which asks anyone which feature they would most like to add to Excel Web Apps and why. The feature can come from the above list or users can also choose to add their own suggestions. The blog did not state when we can expect to see any of the features on the list added to Excel Web App.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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Microsoft wants feedbacks? They had plenty of feedbacks when Windows 8 was still a beta product, and they didn't give a fu*k anyway...

Feedback, suggestions, possible new features.

Not herpdurps on the internet who want to impede progress because they can't figure out how to click in a corner.

Ah ****, I just went there.

They need to match Google Drive with that functionality. The also need features like auto-save and better coauthoring like chat within document and comments. For Skydrive in general they should allow ability to run html code (like google drive). A faster UI is also needed and a drawing program like MS paint online. They also need a google drive like sharing (anyone in the world can edit or view or comment without signing in or anyone with a link can edit sign in etc without signing in) They should still be able to create a link with specific ability like view edit comment if you wanted to, but otherwise just use a single link, and allow single adding of email address so they can view, edit, or comment, instead of just edit.

Spicoli said,
None of that appears to be Excel.

They aren't excel specific, but rather ideas that can be implemented into all the office web apps including Excel.

Is that a joke? Microsoft missed the mark the moment they decided not to target feature parity between web/desktop/mobile productivity apps.

That's what the people want. A desktop like experience on the web and mobile.

Which means the vast majority of features, not a shortlisted, over prioritized, artificially scope-reduced and internally roadmapped minilist of features. They have no excuse: they had the time, money and expertise to do it, and I'd bet my left nut that people would throw loads of cash at Microsoft for a real multi platform Office. I've been waiting and asking MS for that since 2009 when they were experimenting with BPOS web apps. Why they refuse to see that opportunity and keep playing with such watered-down versions of web/mobile Office is beyond me.

Honestly, the web apps as of right now contain enough features to be more than usable. I'd be more than okay with using the Word Web App if I didn't already have Word 2013 installed. The PowerPoint Web App still has a little bit of a way to go for me to really enjoy using it, but it's improved by leaps and bounds since its first release. And the Excel Web App has support for all (or at least a lot) of Excel's formulas, so I think it's pretty powerful.

At this point, besides the occasional great feature that's missing, the web apps have everything needed to be more than usable, and anything else not there are features that most non-Office-wizard home users can live without.