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Microsoft Announces Skype Updates, Adds Office Offline Extension to Chrome

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Microsoft has introduced a bunch of new updates for the its line of services, among them cross-app integration for its messaging and calling app Skype as well as adding a new Office Online extension for Chrome web browser.

The Redmond-based tech giant is focused on improving the experience of those using its services on platforms other than Windows; among them, iOS, Android as well as Mac. The new Office Offline extension is free for all the users of Google Chrome and once installed, it will be free to open up OneDrive, OneNote, Sway as well as common documents such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Customers and their feedback have always been the best thing a business organization can have and Microsoft is very much aware of this. For this reason, the company has decided that it will begin to regularly incorporate the voices of their customers when coming up with updates for MS Office.

In the company’s official blog, Kirk Koenigsbauer, who is the Office Corporate VP, pointed out that there is an improved Navigation pane meant to ease the process of scrolling through huge document files using the online version of MS Word. Furthermore, Koenigsbauer adds that the users will come across new and better formatting options in Excel Online, while on the other hand PowerPoint Online has been updated with performance fixes.

Subtle improvements for Android users

Android users also have some updates of their own with respect to the Office apps. However, the updates only include some minor improvements where the “footprint” of the Office apps has been reduced by up to 40%, with Microsoft promising that it will work hard to ensure that more reductions in footprint are introduced in the near future.

Users will notice that there is a new and streamlined process of signing into the Office apps for Android and compatibility with Android for Work and the latest Android 6.0 M has been enabled as well. If you are a member of Office 365, you can leverage the Presenter View of PowerPoint. This mode will let you see the speaker notes on a PowerPoint presentation using an Android device.

As far as Mac is concerned, the Visual Basic Editor capabilities have been stepped up, but with respect to the feedback provided by customers. It is possible to Add Modules, add Library References using a dialog while debugging can be done with the help of shortcut keys.

Better Skype integration with Office Online

Microsoft also announced that it will be rolling out updates that see the Skype app get better integration with respect to Office Online. This update will be available to all Microsoft account holders starting next month.

Skype’s new update also provides audio and video integration for online versions of MS Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint. The update will also be pushed to Microsoft Outlook where the users will be able to chat with their Skype contacts right from within the app. By allowing the millions who use this app to co-author documents, the Windows OS maker also hopes that integration and collaboration will only get better.

The desktop version of Skype will get these in-app integration features in 2016.