Microsoft announced its new versions of Office for Windows, called Office 2016 on September 22. Apart from a few new features and deployment & manageability improvements, Microsoft is highly advertising its new real-time co-authoring capabilities to sell it.
Many of the Analyst reviews state that Microsoft Office 2016 doesn’t seem to provide much more than previous versions of Office on the desktop, making it hard for some to justify the cost of upgrading.
According to The Verge, “When you first start up any of the latest Office apps you’ll be hard pressed to actually find what’s new. For example, Excel only has one notable change: six new chart types.”.
One of the most notable features that Microsoft has been advertising since a few months ago is the arrival of real-time co-editing in Office 2016. While the new real-time co-authoring might be seen as groundbreaking innovation by some, it is still incomplete catch-up move (not real-time, paragraph locking, merge errors, no social commenting) by Microsoft and is the second time Microsoft has tried to mimic a core feature that G Suite has had since the beginning.
Here are the key differences between both solutions:
|Office 2016||Google Docs|
|Availability||Word 2016 for Windows only
Not available in Excel and Powerpoint
|Available everywhere: Docs, Sheets and slides|
|Platform support||Windows (preferably Windows 10)
Not available on Mac
Not available on iOS & Android
Windows, Mac, LinuxiOS, Android
|Real time cursor location||Yes||Yes|
|Real time updating||No. Modifications can take up to 40 sec. to appear to other editors||Yes|
|No Text locking||No. Paragraph locking (other editors cannot edit the same paragraph)||Yes|
|Merge errors||Sometimes. Local file caching is used and can generate merge errors||No|
|In document chat||No||Yes|