We’re all keen users of and highly dependent on Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint when it comes to dealing with the hefty academic and professional duties. The company is taking another leap and designing a new app that will allow users to create tables, graphs, and lists.
Microsoft is calling it Lego Blocks Fluid components as it can be edited by anybody at any time. The idea explores the ability to create things on one platform without switching to multiple sites and apps all the time. The tables will be available on the web like a Lego block so that anyone can use and edit freely.
Jared Spataro, who is the head of Microsoft 365, spoke to The Verge about this innovation.
“Imagine you could take those Lego pieces and put them in any place you wanted: in emails, in chats, in other apps. As people work on them, they will always be updated and contain the latest information.” – He explained.
From the description, Microsoft’s Fluid Framework seems more like Google Docs, but the difference is that it’s Google Docs on steroids. From the looks of it, Microsoft is delighted with this invention and believes that it has given birth to the future of productivity. It has permitted open-sourcing of Fluid Framework to ensure that the rest of the world could help shape its creation. In fact, some Office.com users are promised an early look in the coming months.
It’s blatantly obvious that Fluid Framework is Microsoft’s attempt to shift away from its decade-old method of creating and saving documents. Traditionally, you get to collaborate and work on documents through Google Docs. It allows multiple people to work on the same lists of tasks while being geographically separated. Anyone and everyone can jump in and edit or save the document, and this is exactly what Microsoft is trying to do now to meet the demands of Office users. The key intention is to design a web space where users can collaborate and share without having to switch apps.
“It’s about helping people achieve a particular task. It’s not about requiring them to decide ‘Which app do I go to?’ or ‘Which document do I get back to?’” – Explains Maya Rodrig, a principal program manager on Microsoft’s Fluid Framework.
Fluid is designed in a way that allows you to copy/paste and edit a chart anywhere you want. This way, you don’t have to depend on the dull Excel sheets anymore.
“Unlike a document, I like to think of a Fluid component as a little atomic unit of productivity. That Fluid component is rendered entirely in-line in an experience in which it’s embedded.” – Said Spataro.
Another benefit of Fluid is that it’s incomparably fast, even when the entire workspace is full of Fluid components.
“A lot of what’s gone into Fluid is the concept of being freaky-fast. It’s truly real time for 5, 10, 15, or 100 people to do things at the same time.”- Jon Friedman, corporate vice president of design and research at Microsoft, explains.
Microsoft shared early templates of Fluid to Office.com users last year.
Fluid components will indicate that they’re live so that others can check their availability. Additionally, you will get to view display pictures of people currently editing.
Fluid will be available to all Office.com and Outlook users first, and eventually, Microsoft Teams will get access to it by the end of the year. The desktop version will be made available sometime next year. Basically, the goal is to make Fluid as easy, convenient and accessible to users as possible. Fluid would also be helpful towards third parties.
“Fluid for developers is a web-based framework that you can use to instantly make your apps collaborative. It provides data structures that perform low-latency synchronization. Those data structures connect between themselves with a relay service, and that relay service is designed to connect endpoints.” – Spataro explained.
A complete document and tools will be provided to users detailing how Fluid could be used efficiently. Obviously, the wish is to make Fluid a brand on its own so that developers could embrace it entirely.
“The future of productivity will not be invented by a single company — not by Microsoft, not by any of our competitors. It will be invented by the world. It is our desire to enable that future to be invented and to participate in that. We think that’s the way to go forward, and that’s the model that will work.” – Spataro assures.