Microsoft adds a ton of features to Office 365 in the July update

Microsoft today announced a number of features that are on their way to Office 365 users as part of the July 2016 update. The features are a group of "cloud-powered intelligent services" that should "help you improve your writing in Word, deliver dynamic presentations in PowerPoint and prioritize the emails that matter most to you in Outlook."

Researcher and Editor are new to Microsoft Word. The former, Researcher, is designed to help the user find reliable sources of information. Using the Bing Knowledge Graph, it will scour the Internet for sources, and it will properly cite them as well.

Microsoft is also promising to expand Researcher's services. While it will search the Internet from day one, it will eventually search "national science and health centers, well-known encyclopedias, history databases and more." The feature will also soon be available for mobile devices.

As Microsoft puts it, while Researcher helps you start, Editor helps you to finish your paper. This new feature promises to use machine learning and natural language processing to proof your paper, and it will make suggestions on how to improve it.

Editor will also change Word's "proofing cues". We're all familiar with the red line for spelling and the blue line for grammar, but there will now be a gold line for writing style. Like any cloud-based service, Microsoft promises that Editor will get better over time.

Of course, it's not all about Word. Outlook is getting Focused Inbox and @-mentions.

Focused Inbox is kind of a big deal. It's been around on Outlook for iOS and Android for some time, ever since Microsoft purchased Acompli. It will break up email into two sections: focused and other. Obviously, 'focused' will be more important emails, and 'other' will be everything else. The feature will be rolling out to Windows, Mac, and Outlook for web.

@-mentions are coming to Windows and Mac users as well. After all, email was the original social network. If you're mentioned in an email, you'll be able to quickly find the message that you were tagged in. If you choose to tag someone else, they'll automatically be added to the To: line.

After launching Designer and Morph for PowerPoint back in November, Microsoft is now offering Zoom, a feature that "lets you easily create interactive, non-linear presentations." Presenters will be able to show their slides in any order they want at any time.

Zoom is available for Office Insiders on Windows desktops today. Microsoft promises that it will continue to expand the intelligence of its Office apps. The company also says that the features announced today will continue to be improved.

Source: Office Blogs

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