New Collaboration Features in MS Office 2010

The Microsoft Office Word team blog has a short video up describing the new coauthoring features in OneNote, Word, and PowerPoint.  It does sound a bit like collaboration nirvana.  As anyone who has worked jointly on a training document, a proposal, or a presentation can attest, version control and the merging of changes can be a major time sink.  Web services have had similar collaboration features for a while, but those sites lack the reach and/or functionality offered by the Office tools.

On the other hand, these new collaboration features will require a change in work styles which that will present the usual training and change management issues.  For example, if you are assigned to work on part of a client proposal for example, will you be reluctant to share your early drafts with the entire team, including senior executives?  Will people delay publication of changes to shared documents, limiting the feature’s utility?  I’ll be interested to see how quickly Office 2010 is adopted, and how these capabilities are used once it is.

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