Microsoft is unveiling a whole new Fluid Framework developer platform today at the company’s Build 2019 conference. Fluid Framework is designed to let developers build more shared and interactive services and apps on the web. Microsoft’s framework will include support for co-authoring on the web at a speed and scale “not yet achieved in the industry,” says the company. Microsoft has dabbled with multiperson collaboration on the web in both Office and its Whiteboard app, and it appears it’s bringing those learnings and benefits to everyone.
As part of this Fluid Framework, the content produced using this system will also be more componentized so developers can use it across apps or in a new flexible document format. Microsoft is also integrating digital assistants like Cortana to translate text, pull in content from the web, suggest edits, and other tasks. Microsoft is making the Fluid Framework available to developers, and it will be integrated into apps like Word, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and other products. The first software development kit will be available for developers later this year.
Microsoft demonstrated its own implementations of Fluid Framework at Build today, including live translation in Word for every participant in a document and the ability to share real-time tables directly within a Microsoft Teams chat interface. Microsoft also showed this running across Chromium Edge, Chrome, Edge, and Firefox, indicating that there will be broad support of this productive web tech.
Fluid Framework seems like a big step toward Microsoft’s increased focus on the web recently. The software maker has also switched to Chromium for its Edge browser, and it looks increasingly like we’ll see a bigger effort to improve Microsoft’s apps and services on the internet for all platforms, rather than a big focus on improving apps dedicated to Windows like we’ve seen in the past.