A new feature to Google Drive is currently in the process of rolling out to all G Suite versions that will allow for commenting – and to be able to see those comments – on Microsoft Office files, PDFs and image files. The new feature means that users of G Suite will be able to collaborate with colleagues or others outside of their organization who use Microsoft Office. More importantly, this can be done without having to convert the files.
The new feature appears in Google Drive online and when you open up the preview pane on a Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint file, you will be able to see the comments on that file and be able to add comments. They will be saved and will stay attached to the file. This should significantly lower the friction on collaborating on projects within organizations and with customers of an organization.
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In a move that will surprise some, Microsoft has announced that the upcoming Microsoft Office 2019 release will only be able to run on Windows 10 PCs. According to the announcement, the following platforms will be able to run the perpetual version of Office
- Any supported Windows 10 SAC release
- Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2018
- The next LTSC release of Windows Server
Further, Microsoft will not support MSI installs for Office 2019 but will be installed only by click-to-run technology. MSI’s will be offered for the server products.
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The Google Drive team is rolling out an update to the web that allows you to preview password protected Microsoft Office documents. The update is rolling out to everyone and should get to your account over the course of the next few days. Once you have it, if you attempt to open a password protected file, you will be prompted for the password and can then preview the file. The key word here is preview. You won’t be able to edit the document nor will you be able to open it up in Google Docs, Sheets or Slides. It is a read-only preview.
While it is limited, this is a nice edition to Google Drive. Many users store Microsoft files on Drive so being able to at least preview a document before going through the process of opening it up in the apps could potentially save some time. Interestingly, the ability to open or preview password protected files is something that even Microsoft does not offer with Office 365 online.
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