Real-time presence in Microsoft Office to become available October 17th

Real-time presence in Microsoft Office to become available October 17th


On October 17th, 2018, we’ll begin rolling out real-time presence for Microsoft Office files in Google Drive to all G Suite domains. Admin controls for real-time presence are available today.

This feature, included in Drive File Stream, will help you avoid version conflicts when editing Microsoft Office files in Google Drive. Real-time presence will let users know if another user is editing a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file stored in Drive File Stream, in real time. This feature will start rolling out to end users on October 17th.

Avoid version conflicts when editing Microsoft Office files in Drive

Real-time presence will check to see if someone else is viewing or editing a Microsoft Office file while you have it open. It’ll alert you and them to help avoid version conflicts. When conflicts do occur, it’ll help you resolve them with a side-by-side view of the document versions, allowing you to easily merge them into one up-to-date file. For more details and to fully understand the feature:


Admin controls available now

Admins can choose whether to make real-time presence available to their organizations. Admin controls are live today and on by default. Real-time presence can be disabled for an entire domain or for individual organizational units (OUs) within a domain. To change the setting, go to Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs > Features and Applications > Allow users to enable real-time presence in Microsoft Office from Drive File Stream in the Admin console.

For more granular control, admins can also deploy a configuration setting to enable or disable real-time presence in Microsoft Office on a per-machine basis.

End user feature available after October 17th

On October 17th, Drive File Stream users will begin to see an educational message when opening Office files stored in Drive File Stream. This message (pictured below), explains that real-time presence helps users see who is editing Microsoft Office files stored in Drive. After opting in to this feature, users will begin to see real-time presence status indicators in the bottom right-hand corner of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint windows that are focused in the foreground.

On macOS, enabling real-time presence may require users to grant accessibility permissions. Additionally, some users may be asked to confirm their identity before using real-time presence, by logging in with their G Suite account. Starting October 17th, employees at G Suite organizations will be able to visit our Help Center to learn more about how to use real-time presence.

Launch Details
Release track:

  • Admin console setting launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release today
  • End user feature included in version of Drive File Stream that will become available to both Rapid Release and Schedule Release on October 17th

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
Admins and end users

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
G Suite Updates blog: Avoid version conflicts when editing Microsoft Office files in Drive
Demo video: Real-time presence in Microsoft Office
Help Center: Use work or school files on your computer with Drive File Stream

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New intelligent file suggestions and organization with Priority in Drive Beta

New intelligent file suggestions and organization with Priority in Drive Beta


We’re adding a new page in Google Drive’s left-hand navigation panel that helps you find and take action on the right Drive files at the right time. This Priority page uses machine learning to suggest files you might need to work on and has “workspaces” to help you organize files. Priority in Drive is initially available in beta. See below for more details.

See files and comments that need attention

The goal of Priority is to put your most important files in one place. Using machine learning, we identify the files that are high-priority for you to work on. When you open the page, you’ll see those files, along with comments and suggested actions. You’ll be able to reply to some comments directly through the Drive interface and open full documents with one click. This will help you spend less time searching for content and more time doing work that matters.

Use workspaces to organize files without moving them

The Priority page also organizes files into workspaces. These let you gather a private set of working files for ongoing easy access. Adding files to a workspace doesn’t affect their storage location or permissions—it just aggregates files to help you find them faster. Our studies show most users only work with around 10–20 files at any given time. Workspaces help make sure you can get to those files more efficiently. To build your workspace, you can use Drive’s intelligent file suggestions or add files manually.

With the Priority page, Drive is helping you save time and focus on what matters by intelligently surfacing and organizing the files you may need in any given moment.

Apply to join the Priority in Drive Beta

Priority in Drive is launching initially in beta. Admins can see more details, review the eligibility requirements, and apply for their domains to join at this link.

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