Microsoft has confirmed that it is rolling out “@mentions” for its spreadsheet software. Users of Microsoft Excel workbooks will soon have the ability to tag colleagues or team members.
In the entry on the official Microsoft 365 roadmap, the company notes that @mentions can be used to "create, assign and track tasks within your workbook." The entry indicates the feature has a General Availability (GA) date of October 2022. However, the feature has already been added to the "rolling out" cycle. This means some users who have updated their Microsoft Office suite may already be able to use the feature to tag people.
It is important to note that only the desktop iteration of Microsoft Excel will get the feature for now. However, the feature will be rolled out to users across the world.
Microsoft decided to develop the ability to tag people in the spreadsheet software way back in January 2021. It is not clear why it took the company a year and a half to build and deploy the feature. Microsoft Office’s rival Google Workspace has long had the @mentions feature which allowed users to tag their colleagues or co-workers, both within an organization and outside.
The update is just of several that Microsoft is developing to help improve online collaboration between teams. The company seems to be offering a simpler and more productive software suite to support hybrid working.