The latest Office 365 updates from Microsoft include new Excel data types that borrow from Bing’s intelligent search features.
Excel’s “new, cloud-connected data types” are being rolled out to Office 365 business users who also happen to participate in the Office Insider early-access program, announced Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president of the Office group at Microsoft, on March 29. They build on the software’s ability to automatically recognize text and number strings, helping users quickly arrive at the insights they’re looking for.
“For example, Excel recognizes that ‘France’ is a country and automatically associates it with additional attributes such as population and gross domestic product, using the same technology that powers Bing answers,” blogged the Microsoft executive. Bing answer is a collection of AI-assisted intelligent search capabilities that are powered by field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) from Intel. They enable Microsoft’s search engine to decode jargon and generate multiple answers to how-to questions, among other skills.
In Excel, the technology helps keep the business information up-to-date.