The idea is to help weave collaborative software from Office apps into the wider Windows ecosystem. Think of it a little like Google Docs but with the potential to spread throughout third party apps.

Microsoft said it would make the Fluid Framework code available on Github soon. Head of Microsoft 365 Jared Sporato said, “Discovering the full potential of the Fluid Framework can only be accomplished through creating a diverse, open, and vibrant developer community. For this reason, Microsoft will be making the Fluid Framework open source, allowing developers and creators to use key infrastructure from Fluid Framework in their own applications,” (via TechCrunch). 

While the idea is good, it might take a while to get users to think this way. Microsoft wants to get to a place where people can create components in an app and there share that component directly with someone else who doesn’t necessarily have to open it in the same application. By trying to move away from the idea of saving and sending files, the company has a hill to climb in communicating its vision.

If an element is shared and attached to another document, it is still a collaborative element – you aren’t creating a new version, it’s the same one, and it can be hosted anywhere. Well, that’ts the idea, anyway.