Microsoft has upgraded its Office Online service by integrating a new Bing-powered service called Insights into the company’s online productivity suite. The tool, which pops out as a sidebar in any Word Online document, allows people to highlight a word and see more information about it though a combination of sources compiled by Bing.
Insights is context-aware and looks at other words around the one elected to determine what people are actually talking about. In Microsoft’s example, it can tell the difference between the state of Missouri and the Missouri River by looking at the content nearby. It’s a move to make things easier for people to get more information about what they’re working on without having to leave their document and ask a search engine.
Microsoft has been doing more integration of Bing into Office recently. The company just replaced the clip art gallery in modern desktop versions of Office with a Bing-powered image search tool.
The new service comes alongside a smorgasbord of other updates, including support for visible pagination breaks and better support for PDFs, including the ability to turn them into editable Word documents.
Microsoft also updated the “Tell Me” feature in Office Online, which allows people to perform functions with plain text queries. This update brings support for requesting word counts and running other commands that are hidden in submenus like changing the size of a document.
Today’s updates are another move to improve the company’s online productivity suite, which allows people to collaborate on documents live through Office 365. It’s an important product for Microsoft as Google continues to make inroads into the enterprise market with its Google for Work service.