Microsoft Excel is about to get a lot smarter


Microsoft Excel users rejoice. Your favorite spreadsheet is about to get a lot smarter, thanks to the help of machine learning and a better connection to the outside world.

As Jared Spataro, Microsoft’s general manager for Office, and Rob Howard, the company’s director of Office 365 ecosystem marketing, showed me during a briefing at the company’s Ignite conference today, Excel will soon be able to understand more about your inputs and then pull additional information from the internet as necessary.

“We’re pleased to introduce new data types,” Spataro explained. “That doesn’t sound all that interesting and we had this interesting discussion about what we’d name these things, but at the end of the day we realized that if you’re really an Excel wonk, the thing that…

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