Microsoft today announced Fluid Framework, its platform for collaborating and sharing that will integrate with Microsoft 365 and, according to Microsoft, “break down the barriers of the traditional document as we know it.” The offering will arrive as a software developer kit later this year, and Microsoft plans to have its own Microsoft 365 integrations by the end of the year.
Rather than a document, the company describes it as more of a canvas with co-authoring abilities. It doesn’t have to be just a Word document, spreadsheet or a presentation. Instead, it can be a mish-mash of them all.
And perhaps in a knock at current leader Google and its Docs, Fluid Framework will allow for co-authoring with multiple users “at speeds not yet achieved in the industry.”
In a demo, someone inked on a map and it showed up instantly on another user's device, in a different browser. Microsoft also showed typing being translated live into nine different languages simultaneously. Additionally, a doc in Word was updated simultaneously when embedded in Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft claimed that content from either apps or the Internet can be made into individual components that can be deconstructed and reconstructed to better share information.
Humans won’t be the only ones collaborating in the space. Assistants, like Cortana, can grab information from sources, translate data from other languages, offer up pictures and even co-author documents.
We expect to learn more about Fluid Framework during our time here at Microsoft's Build conference in Seattle.