With more and more people working from home these days, there is fierce competition between Microsoft Office and Google Workspace to capture the growing market. Normally, we report on Google Workspace updates that play catch up with Microsoft’s Office productivity suite. Today, however, it is different as Excel is getting a very useful update that Google Sheets has had for a long time.
Microsoft likes to unveil updates to Office programs via its Microsoft 365 roadmap homepage. A recent update to the roadmap shows that Excel is going to get @ mentions, which will allow users to tag their colleagues in comments on their spreadsheets.
As is typical with these roadmap entries, this update is very brief and to the point. There are some details we can report, however. The first is that the feature will be released on a General Availability basis, meaning all Excel users will get access to it, the second is that it should start rolling out in October 2022 and the third is that it will be released on a Worldwide (Standard Multi-Tenant) cloud instance.
This minor teak for Excel should mark a major boon for remote Excel workers who collaborate on documents with colleagues, team members, contractors, and clients. Being able to tag colleagues both within your organization and also external collaborators offers a massive boost for teamwork productivity. Mentioning a specific colleague can call for direct action on a certain point, whether that be editing, explaining, adding, or deleting information.
It is easy to think Microsoft Office is the undisputed champion when it comes to productivity but as today’s news reminds us, Google has innovated the space a lot in recent years.
In other recent productivity news, Google Workspace is now more compatible with Microsoft Office files, and Microsoft is pursuing a campaign against malware wrapped up in macro files.