As per an entry in the company’s product roadmap, Word will soon receive a text predictions feature, designed to anticipate what the user intends to write next and save them the effort of typing it out in full.
Once the update has been deployed, Word will begin to generate text predictions in real-time as the user types. These predictions will be greyed out until either typed over, approved using the TAB key or rejected using ESC.
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According to Microsoft, the service will improve over time as it picks up on each user’s writing style and linguistic preferences, and should help minimize errors of spelling and grammar.
The feature is currently still under development, but is expected to roll out for users of the Windows application by the end of next month. It is unclear when the upgrade will land for the web client or Word for macOS.
Microsoft Word update
The upcoming Word update will restore parity between Microsoft’s word processing software and rival service Google Docs, which has offered almost identical functionality for a while now.
While Microsoft had previously been the undisputed leader in the productivity software market, the transition to a subscription-first model and the rise of Google Workspace has introduced a healthy measure of competition to the space.
Information about the new Word feature also comes hot on the heels of an announcement about the company’s next standalone Office package, designed for customers that prefer to make a one-time purchase as opposed to using the Microsoft 365 subscription service.
Set to arrive later this year, Office 2021 will presumably deliver a range of upgrades over the previous 2019 edition, but Microsoft remains tight-lipped about the precise ways in which the two standalone packages will differ.
Microsoft has confirmed that Office 2021 will receive support for five years and the company does not intend to alter the price of the package at the current time.
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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.