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Mar302018

Microsoft Adds New Cloud-connected Data Types to Excel

New in the update today for this month, Microsoft is bringing in new artificial intelligence (AI) enabled rich data types starting with geography and stock to Excel.

The new cloud-connected data types were first announced at the Ignite conference in last September, and today over six months later, Microsoft has finally begin rolling out it to Office Insiders.

Other features launching today, include an intelliegent search in SharePoint, and the Microsoft Cloud expansion with datacenters in new geographies.

Here are the details of what’s new in this month:

Intelligent Capabilities

Several updates harnessing the power of Microsoft Cloud and AI-powered capabilities enable Excel to now recognize rich data types beyond numbers and text strings. The new cloud-connected data types available today, include stocks and geography. “Based on machine learning, these new data types will simplify the process of working with real-world data,” writes Microsoft.

Future updates will include organizational data types backed by Microsoft Graph, which’ll intelligently enhance Excel spreadsheets with even richer content.

Expanding capabilities in Excel Online now let you insert ‘Pivot Tables’ and ‘delete rows and columns’ to analyze and format data. Also, it’s now possible to insert images from local storage, duplicate existing worksheets, and change the color of tabs all from the browser.

New AI and Cloud-connected data types in Excel

Personalized Search and Modern Communities

Powered by the Microsoft Cloud, the new intelligent personalized search capabilities in SharePoint Online enable discovery of people, information, and expertise from across the organization.

This update using signals from Microsoft Graph provides tailored search results across content and people which are easier to explore. This update also enable previewing of over 270+ file types directly from the search page.

In the image below you can see new consistent and personalized search results powered by Microsoft Graph in SharePoint or Office.com:

New Cloud-AI-connected intelliegent personalized search in SharePoont Online

This personalized experience is now rolling out to all Office 365 subscribers.

SharePoint hub sites are a new, flexible building block for corporate intranets bring together news, activity, search, and navigation from across SharePoint team sites and SharePoint communication sites based on project, department, division, region, and more

This is rolling out to Office 365 subscribers enrolled in Targeted Release.

Also, a new web part introduced today allows organizations to connect Yammer community to any SharePoint site or webpage is available now. This feature enhances control over content to display with options to show most popular conversations and an ability to curate specific threads to guide the conversation. It’s also possible to surface all latest unread conversations specific to the reader.

The feature works across desktop and mobile.

In addition, Microsoft also expanding its cloud infrastructure with local datacenters in France, UAE and Switzerland, which aims to help organizations digitally transform with latest Office 365 services while meeting compliance requirements to store customer data in their own country.

Also, new cloud options are added for Office 365 customers in Germany.

Office 365 for U.S. Government, enable government agencies to transform through digitizing citizen services and modernizing workplaces.

Additionally, all Office 365 applications and user experiences are accessible by design, helping agencies address the requirements of Revised Section 508 and empowering people of all abilities to achieve more.

Also, available today is a new Garage Project, called ‘Functions Translator’ that enables Excel users to work seamlessly with functions and formulas across all translated versions of Excel.

The functions traslator is created with following goals:

  • Enables users who know the US functions to become productive in localized versions of Excel
  • Enables users to easily translate full formulas they find on the web to their native language
  • Supports all localized languages and functions of Excel, 80 languages, 800 functions
  • Provide an efficient way to search for any part of a functions name, in both languages selected
  • Shows a scrollable and categorized list of US functions and the corresponding localized functions
  • Enables the users to give feedback to Microsoft on the quality of the translations of the functions, good and bad
  • Enables us to support users that are struggling with finding the wanted function in a localized language
  • Supports Excel 2013 and 2016 for Desktop, Excel Online, and the latest version of Excel for Mac and iPad

You can download it over here.

Function Translator for Microsoft Excel

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