- Posted by Tamara Dutina
- On May 21, 2020
- 0 Comments
- microsoft fluid, Office 365, office.com
Watch out Google Docs, your most serious competitor is rolling out at the end of this year. It is Microsoft’s Fluid Framework, and from what we’ve seen in the past day or so, the great expectations are well-grounded.
Still a work in progress, Fluid was announced last year by the tech giant, letting enterprises and developers have a private preview. This preview was updated two days ago with some new segments that created a major buzz and gave Google some homework to do.
What is Fluid Framework?
As Microsoft described it, Fluid technology is a “set of experiences designed to make collaboration seamless by breaking down barriers between apps”. Jared Spataro, head of Office 365, compared it to the usage of Lego blocks, as you can assemble your favourite Microsoft apps – such as Excel, Word or PowerPoint – and edit them in real-time. Dubbed as Google Docs on steroids by the Verge, Fluid made an impact and a teaser to a change in the collaboration game.
At first glance, it truly seems like a UX from heaven – one of those perks you didn’t know you needed as much until you got it.
The whole idea is enabling the Office 365 user to jump from app to app, without switching between each individual component. So, for example, if your team is working on an Excel chart, all of you can edit it simultaneously in real-time and directly in an email or chat. No need to send the chart to your colleague for feedback or contribution. Any user invited to collaborate on an element can access and change it in a preferred app! All the updates made by other users to a document will be automatically visible to all.
Why it’s great?
1. Functionality, level: expert
Fluid is actually a set of interactive blocks (Legos 😊) which can be shared and changed across all Office apps. The components are omnipresent: they do not exist only in one document, which enables you to move them wherever you like. So, if you ever wish to change your Word document in a PowerPoint, Fluid is your go-to platform.
It’s not only the idea that’s great; judging by the currently available preview, the realization is well-thought, too. Fluid is super-easy to use. It is intuitive, simple and highly functional, promising for a really short period of adaption. It comes with a big set of possibilities, such as managing projects with multiple stakeholders and using it as a meeting space (both 1:1 or with more users).
2. Fast and furious
When you present an idea like this, what you need to bear in mind is the speed of execution. For a multi-layered platform like this to break off, would be a major deal-breaker. Microsoft claims Fluid is extremely fast, enabling a truly smooth experience for a great number of people at the same time.
The true evolution of the Redmond-based giant is confirmed with the info that components of Fluid will be open-source. As announced, documentation will be available next month on GitHub and Office 365 executives are hoping for the developer community to embrace the framework and implement it in their apps.
The planned rollout for Office 365 users will be gradual, starting with targeted Office.com users and continuing into 2021. In the meantime, you can play with the preview and share your impressions on how you think it will change your team’s collaboration.