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Microsoft is bringing chat to its Word and PowerPoint web apps

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Collaborating with co-workers using Office Online is about to get a bit easier: Microsoft is bringing chat to the web versions of Word and PowerPoint. Sorry, Excel users: it seems you can't yet chat while working on spreadsheets, nor does the feature support OneNote. The Skype-powered chat is more or less the same thing Microsoft has already rolled out across Outlook.com and OneDrive. And since Skype's the backbone, you can always review your conversations using Microsoft's app at a later time when the document's closed. Chat should be a nice complement to the real-time editing that Microsoft brought to its Office web apps in 2013. Google offers group chat functionality in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, but its approach differs in that those conversations never leave the original app and don't carry into Hangouts or any of Google's other apps. Microsoft says chat will roll out to Office Online "in the coming weeks."