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Microsoft announces platform integration with Office 2016

Microsoft’s annual BUILD conference happened earlier this week (opens in new tab), with developer events continuing throughout today, and we got a good look into the next versions of most services on Windows 10.

One of the big changes coming to Office 2016 is platform integration, allowing users to download ‘add-ins’ on all of the programs. Microsoft showed off a few of these add-ins already built for Office 2016, which will release later this year alongside Windows 10.

The first was DocuSign for Word, allowing users to add a digital signature to documents. This removes the painful process of downloading (or finding) Adobe Reader, or finding another third-party document signature program.

Outlook also received a few add-ins, with LinkedIn (opens in new tab) and (opens in new tab) both integrating with the email client to show more information on the sender. Both services tap into databases to check the email sender, linking it to a profile on LinkedIn or

Microsoft has also integrated Outlook with Uber, allowing users to order a cab through the email client. Outlook already offers navigation to a place if specified in the email, and will offer an Uber cab.

These add-ins are similar to Facebook’s Messenger Platform, allowing third-party developers to create over-the-top applications that run inside the program. Office 2016 has various potential OTT apps, especially for enterprise companies looking to plug-in to Excel, Access and other programs.

It is a more open approach to its own applications, previously working on all integration without third-party help. Microsoft has had a more open developer approach since Satya Nadella started leading the company, showing his attempt to revitalise Microsoft’s developer community.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.