Microsoft Word to roll out text predictions for all users by March 2021

Microsoft will roll out text predictions for Word by March 2021. The text prediction will use machine learning to predict a word or phrase the user would want to type or will be likely to type the next word in a Microsoft Word document. It will work similarly to Smart Compose on Google Docs. Users can accept suggestions or text predictions that will appear in the grey font by using the Tab key and can reject them by pressing Escape. Word users can also completely disable the text predictions.

Microsoft Word’s ability to predict text in real-time is aimed at helping users type fast that will save their time and effort. According to Microsoft, “Text predictions help users write more efficiently by predicting text quickly and accurately. The feature reduces spelling and grammar errors and learns overtime to give the best recommendations based on your writing style.”

Microsoft notes that the service will improve with time as it picks up on the user’s linguistic preferences and writing style, minimising grammar and spelling errors. Microsoft had rolled out the feature for 50 per cent of Windows Beta Channels last year. An update on the Microsoft 365 roadmap spotted by Neowin shows that the software giant now aims to extend the functionality to all users.

Microsoft also noted that the predictions feature will also be introduced in Outlook for Windows, making it easier for users to compose their mails. Microsoft notes that data collected by the feature to learn writing styles and behaviour will not leave the tenant boundary and no human will ever be able to see or analyse it unless the data is donated as part of the feedback mechanism.

According to a report by CNet, Microsoft is yet to announce if it plans to allow its text prediction to suggest gender like “him” or “her”. Google Smart Compose in 2018 decided to drop gender-based pronouns in predictive text altogether to avoid potential bias. Word users can navigate to Help > Feedback to send any complaints or suggestions to Microsoft.

As per reports, the feature is still under development and should roll out to users by the end of next month. However, it is not clear as to when Microsoft will make text predictions available for macOS or the web client. Microsoft is also slated to roll out a new version of Microsoft Office 2021 with a range of upgrades later this year, as per reports. Users will have to buy the new version that will give users 5-year support.

Microsoft has a criteria wherein MS Office, 2021, in this case will be sold as a one-time purchase, which meansusers pay a single, up-front cost to get Office apps for one computer. One-time purchases are available for previous versions of Office are available both PCs and Macs. However, there are no upgrade options which means if users plan to upgrade to the next major release, they will have to buy it at full price.

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