New Microsoft Teams and Excel tie-in offers up the perfect recipe for productivity

Microsoft Excel
(Image credit: / monticello)

Microsoft is readying an update for collaboration platform Teams that will bring spreadsheets directly into video meetings.

As explained in the latest company blog post, Microsoft Teams users will soon be able to launch into Excel documents from the meeting screen, courtesy of a new feature called Excel Live.

Instead of tabbing out to work on a shared spreadsheet, collaborators will be able to make edits in real-time without ever leaving the Microsoft Teams client.

Excel Live in Microsoft Teams

The new Microsoft Excel integration is part of an ongoing expansion of the Teams content sharing facility, kicked off with the arrival of PowerPoint Live last year.

The idea is to limit the extent to which users are asked to navigate between multiple applications in order to work with colleagues and partners amid the widespread shift to hybrid working.

“In this era of hybrid work, real-time interaction between remote workers can mean the difference between getting the work done today or adding another meeting to your calendar,” wrote Microsoft.

“Until now, sharing spreadsheets within a Teams meeting has been a fairly one-sided experience. You share a file, and everyone else watches while you make the updates. But what if your group could use that meeting time to get the work done together? Building on what we’ve learned and the evolving needs of today’s workplace, we’ve created an enhanced collaboration solution for working on Microsoft Excel workbooks.”

Set to enter public preview in August, the new Excel Live feature will be available via the Share menu and will not require the Excel client to be installed locally on-device.

The sharing functionality will also be complemented by the arrival of collaborative annotation feature for Teams, which was first teased back in May. Available immediately, the tool allows meeting participants to make notations on shared content, giving hosts a way to involve participants in meetings and presentations more directly.

And lastly, Microsoft has unveiled a new feature that allows for short video clips to be recorded and shared over Teams, mirroring a similar utility introduced to Slack last year. The goal is to better support asynchronous working patterns, to help eliminate unnecessary meetings from the calendar.

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.