“This article is authorised by China Airline Corporation (WeChat ID: lifeissohappy: WeChat: @lishuhang). Please do not reprint or cite it without permission.
On April 18th, Tencent launched a high profile “Tencent Document,” which is a multi-person collaboration online document product that can open up platforms such as QQ and WeChat on the web and mobile client and applets. , And added the translation, stock function, browse access control and other functions.
As early as August of last year, ID: lifeissohappy had predicted that Tencent documents that were an accessory function of TIM (office version QQ) would not only directly PK graphite, write equivalent products together, and even rob them. Represented by Microsoft Office, the overall broad office software market share.
Office is currently another important revenue department of Microsoft China in addition to Azure. How does Microsoft evaluate the development of Office 365 in China and how will it respond to the new changes in the collaborative office market? ID: lifeissohappy interviewed the head of Microsoft's China Office in November of last year and April of this year to try to answer these questions.
Tencent Document to "Free" Education Market
In fact, the "Tencent document" tested externally under the name of the TIM subsidiary function for 1 year. ID: lifeissohappy has been in use since the launch of TIM's online documentation.
The strange thing is that before this feature was officially debuted by the "Tencent Document", it did not seem to receive enough attention. Waiting for Ma Huateng to send a circle of friends before the various analysts took action.
At least for the moment, Tencent does not attach too many profitable indicators to online document products. At least from the perspective of delaying opponents, it will have a high probability of remaining completely free in the future.
In August 2017, we wrote in the article "The Transition of Online Document Format of TIM Admissions":
“More worth mentioning is the free strategy of TIM online documentation. The free experience of graphite and writing together is short-lived and will scare off some small business users from the beginning.
TIM …… is still completely free of charge. It will certainly allow some small and medium-sized teams to put online documents that do not involve user information and corporate secrets on the Internet and experience the benefits of online editing. After that, if they have other special needs, they will choose to pay for services, and slowly "into the pit".
It would appear that educating users and expanding the market may be its greatest contribution to the market. ”
Tencent documents formally unveiled, so that the industry began to worry about the most direct test products & mdash; graphite and write the fate.
Written jointly in September 2016, Jinshan WPS strategic investment, the specific amount is unknown; graphite has recently won the first round of nearly 100 million round of financing today. Both products are currently operating independently. The main business model is "free + value-added," and membership income also depends on personal and SME users.
Both of them have publicly stated that they welcome the Tencent document to join the war situation, but the possibility of their continued independent survival in the future is getting lower and lower. If it is not possible to develop independently, writing together will likely be incorporated into the product line of Kingsoft WPS, and graphite can enrich the user experience of the headline product's back-end CMS.
What is certain is that once the Tencent document has played the role of “educating users and expanding the market”, it will also change the habit of more domestic users preferting offline office software such as Microsoft Office and Kingsoft WPS, and thus affecting both. Market share.
If the user does not find the function, it means there is no
On April 17, Microsoft released a four-year business performance of the Chinese version of Office365 (operated by Century Connect) in China. It stated that the overall business growth exceeded 400%, serving more than 1.5 million paying corporate users and more than 20 million educational users. At the same time, Microsoft also gave a figure: Office 365 productivity cloud platform "occupy 23% of China's collaborative collaborative SaaS market share."
Microsoft explained that "23%" is not the latest data for this year, but is quoted from IDC's report in the first half of 2017. However, at the time of verification, the original of this report was not found.
IDC official website had a press release  mentioned in 2016 that "China's collaborative application software SaaS market has gone far beyond the traditional OA market". The resulting definition of "collaborative SaaS" product may be to replace the traditional OA (office automation) system, so it should include Yammer included in Office 365, as well as Mingdao, Teammtion, nail, corporate WeChat, and Daoyun collaboration and other products.
However, this is inconsistent with the perception that many users are associating Microsoft Office with WPS, Google Docs, Graphite, writing together, and new Tencent documents.
Another reference figure is "Daily Economic News" in June 2017  cited Civics data research data that Microsoft Office penetration in the PC-side market reached 97.31%; Jinshan WPS Office market penetration rate 61.74%.
Therefore, the impact that Tencent documents may cause after being online is still difficult to quantify. But what is certain is that Tencent documents will surely begin to compete for office users in the traditional sense of using Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Although the functionality of online documents is certainly not as strong as off-line clients, it is likely to cultivate other users' habits. It is likely that other functions that they have not made will not be available to users. Over time, they will forget the existence of these functions.
Therefore, for individuals who are still price-sensitive and SME users, even Microsoft Office cannot rely on its own powerful features to make sure that customers can give up their opponent's "free lunch."
ID:lifeissohappy recalled in “Ribbon: Revolutionary Legacy of Office 2007”:
"Microsoft's interaction design team deliberately conducted countless user surveys to find out which features were carefully developed, but buried them without being discovered, and people may only use up to 5% of all Office features." ”
For the end user, any innovation and function point that cannot be clearly perceived is approximately equal to non-existence. How to make Office 365 this giant be truly understood and utilized by every user and developer has always been the focus of Microsoft's China Office department.
Office 365 experience details with AI carving
One of the basic feelings of people on the road to improving the user experience is "a penny, a penny, a dollar, two cents." It is relatively easy to achieve a product experience that is generally acceptable, but it is not easy to remove all the obstacles that people use on the road and make them use the process because of a small detail. .
Office 365 claims to “integrate 53 Microsoft artificial intelligence technologies and features, significantly improving cloud collaboration office productivity”. This marketing strategy is aimed at the user's use of the details of the process of "pain points" to start, this is WPS, Tencent documents and other competing products will not catch up with 1:15.
Example 1: Excel's "Fast Fill" (Flash Fill). Want to fill in birthday in another column according to the ID number? Want to extract the name of your province or city based on the detailed address? After manually entering the contents of the previous two sets of cells, Excel automatically perceives this rule and automatically fills in the remaining cells, similar to the auto-completion feature.
The Quick Fill feature first appeared in Excel 2013 but was greatly enhanced in Office 365. Through the networking request AI to analyze the rules of user data, the fast-fill function can be greatly improved compared to when used offline to reach a fully usable state.
Example 2: OneNote's Text Recognition (OCR). In OneNote 2007, you can already use the "copy text in images" feature to copy text from clearer documents. However, the accuracy of the text recognition function of OneNote and Evernote (Empressive Note) in the year was appalling.
Until OneNote in Office 365, by contrasting with the online translation results, OCR and the stylus-to-text function can achieve higher recognition accuracy.
Thanks to the training of Office Lens in the mobile phone application, the current text recognition function can automatically perceive the edge of the captured content (paper, white board, business card, etc.), recognize the shape, size and angle, automatically correct the screen skew and optimize the image. , let you get neat scan results.
Example 3: PowerPoint's "Design Inspiration" (Design Ideas). Just drag in a few pictures in the slide, enter a text, you can in the right "design inspiration" pane to find a variety of graphic effects, click to apply.
If other products also have the ability to quickly format images and text in a fixed format, you will notice that, when PowerPoint auto-types, the picture can be cut regardless of how the human face in the figure is not protected by "cut edges". The center of the cut section. This is because before clipping the picture, the position of the face in the picture has been previously found by face recognition and scaled to an appropriate size to avoid clipping of the face.
Face and other object recognition technology is one of the advantages of Microsoft AI research. The same engine has been used in Microsoft's various small test games, such as guessing how old the person is, "Yan Ling", providing wear Clothes with a hint of "dressing assistant" and so on.
Example 4: The smart switching effect of PowerPoint combined with 3D “Smooth” (Morph). The trouble with 3D object displacement and size transformation is that it also requires a transformation of perspective. Traditional slide transitions do not allow 3D objects to rotate.
In PowerPoint, you can copy slides that contain 3D objects and adjust the position, size, and perspective of different elements. Then select the "smooth" effect, the system will automatically calculate the best motion path of the tweened animation, so that the 3D object rotates smoothly to the next angle.
In the Windows 10 creators update, Microsoft emphasized the application of the 3D and "holographic" concept, which can be used to easily create 3D objects through camera scanning or "painting 3D" applications. However, if there is no "smooth" effect, only the same angle can be maintained after inserting a 3D object into the slide. What is the difference between inserting a 3D object and inserting it? Therefore, the "smooth" transformation can maximize the utility of 3D objects in slides.
Microsoft firmly believes that through the enhancement of these subtle features, it can demonstrate all of Microsoft's technical strength in the era of AI. The most important thing is to "slightly improve the efficiency of the user's work, or to comply with users". Lazy & rdquo; needs, they appreciate the sweetness will also be inseparable from Office 365.
Office 365 Micro Assistant: Opening a New Track at WeChat
For products such as Office 365, WPS, and Google Docs, documents, forms, slideshow editors are the main body of the product. However, for nails, corporate WeChat and other "collaborative" products, document editing is only a very small part of the complex functions.
Nowadays, online collaboration increasingly requires the interoperation of multiple tasks and multiple tasks without jumping out of the current App, window, or page. In other words, we increasingly need an "integration of all" office interface.
Tencent documents can be opened by QQ/WeChat App, browser, independent app, and WeChat applet, which can be said to take care of almost all scenes involving document exchange.
On the PC side, the WPS 2019 that will be released this year has been open for testing. The biggest change in the interface is the integration of the three functions of text, table, and presentation. In different tabs of the same window, you can edit documents with different attributes. .
Microsoft Office 2019 is also expected to go public this year. At that time, an update of Windows 10 will introduce the "Sets" function, which combines multiple windows into multiple tabs and achieves the same effect in disguise.
So, on the mobile side?
At the 2017 Microsoft Technology and Ecology Conference held in Beijing in November last year, I interviewed Edward Ye, the dean of the Microsoft (Asia) Institute of Internet Engineering. He is in charge of the engineering R&D and operation of the Office 365 China service.
Ye Shenghua said that their user survey found that although full-featured mobile office applications are available on mobile operating systems, not many users actually edit documents on mobile phones. Office users are still accustomed to using a larger screen PC or (Windows) tablet as the first choice for editing Office documents.
It can be seen that no matter how the GUI is performed on the mobile phone interface, the effect is limited, and the mobile terminal must have a dedicated operation mode.
At the conference, Office 365 launched the “Micro Assistant” function based on WeChat for the first time. Through the WeChat public number interface, it interacted with text messaging/press and hold dialogues.
It allows you to take a slide on the screen in front of you, let the micro-assistant automatically help you separate the background, foreground and text, generate an editable PPT file; it also allows you to easily reply to the message in a few words in the dialog box .
It has been a long time for industry research to use dialogue as an interactive method, so that the concept of CaaP (dialogue as platform) has emerged. In addition to familiar products such as Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Google Assistant, Adobe Sensei supports the use of voice commands for editing, Google Docs supports dictation and voice control, and more. Microsoft provides a plug-in framework through the Bot Framework to quickly customize chat bots for businesses.
Ye Shenghua said that from the beginning, the micro-assistant was not prepared to do a graphical interface, but a dialogue model. This led to the differentiation of micro-assistance and WPS Mobile Edition, Tencent Document App and Applets.
Half a year later, Air China again met Ye Shenghua. He talked about the response of micro-assistants to the market:
"We have only begun to come out of micro-assistants, but it is actually aimed at small businesses. Later when we first iterated, we discovered that small businesses didn't welcome …… or didn't need to. In fact, small businesses, dozens of people or several people are all in the circle of friends, and they are all in the personal private chat group. They are not necessary for them; moreover, they are less concerned with security or other considerations. Therefore, when we later came into contact with big companies, we found that micro-assistants are more attractive to big companies. Therefore, large and medium-sized companies that use micro-assistants are quite a few. ”
He said that the Office 365 micro-assistant will be based on feedback from the recent period, simplify the deployment process, facilitate the adoption of SMEs and even individuals, and also strengthen close cooperation with the corporate WeChat team. And soon, Office 365 Personal Edition users also have the opportunity to use the micro-assistance feature.
One of the major publicity functions of Tencent documents was the close integration with the WeChat environment, and the answer given by Microsoft on the mobile side was also related to WeChat. If you continue to follow the path of dialogue and interaction, Office 365 will be more radical and futuristic in the future of mobile work. It is possible to complete the work of typesetting or tabular data entry through dictation or dialog input.
However, WeChat is still Tencent's product. When Tencent’s core interests are conflicted, it is doubtful whether Tencent will be able to hold a balance. Historically, Microsoft’s Xiao Bing’s early stay in WeChat had been briefly blocked for a while due to violations of the WeChat rules.
Back to SME
The iteration of office software usage habits has been carried out many times, from the DOS version of WPS in the late 1980s to the Microsoft Office in the Windows era, to the collaborative office of the mobile office and the cloud. Such iterations may require powerful promotion of new products and new technologies, but more often they follow the trend.
Now, using a web-based document editor or using a powerful local client is more of a matter of paradigm choice. Are you an old man who has experienced the PC era or a new human being who pursues a cross-screen experience? You are willing to spend a lot of time, choose excellent tools to improve efficiency, or use the computer like a CNC machine tool, to memorize the first few menu items on the left?
For individuals or dozens of small company small teams, there is basically no need for information security and confidentiality, usually wechat groups can be used to get the situation, and their understanding of office products, of course, only Word, Excel, PowerPoint this "" Old three. And Jinshan WPS, Tencent documents and other free products that only provide basic editing functions can already meet this basic requirement.
For these groups, Microsoft not only did not give up, on the contrary, it must focus on fighting for a period of time in the future. Microsoft launches the "Office 365 Cloud Enabling Strategy" to meet the needs of SME customers for cost control and business development. At the same time, it increases the number of Exchange mails and videos provided by SharePoint and Skype for Business compared to other competitors' free products. Conference, desktop sharing capabilities.
In addition, the "Office 365 Cloud Enabling Strategy" also focuses on emphasizing the security and data privacy protection advantages for small and medium-sized customers, and provides SMEs with professional guarantees that are equal to those of large enterprises. In particular, for startups that are growing quickly and are committed to overseas market development, early familiarity with the operating habits of Office 365 and the move to the global version of Office 365 will be less stressful.
The growth of a new generation of users does not mean that they will definitely abandon PCs. Most of the AI enhancements of Office 365 mentioned above are still preferred by the Windows 10 platform, which means that Microsoft's own systems and their products can work together better to further protect the integrity of the ecosystem.
Gao Bo, Chief Product Manager of Office 365 Micro Assistant:
"From the point of view of algorithms such as computer vision, voice, and intelligent recognition, many media have reported that Microsoft's technology is one of the best in the laboratory, and especially some things are already the first." At this point, our advantage is to have "end".
Office has been exposed to a large number of users, and has cultivated the habits of users. Office 365 not only exists on the user's desktop, but has also been extended to WeChat, giving customers all in one (integrated) experience. This kind of all in one experience, together with the actual research results behind Microsoft artificial intelligence, is our real advantage. ”