When it announced the new Surface Pro a few months back, Microsoft also used the opportunity to preview Whiteboard, a Windows 10 app designed to offer creative and business collaboration across devices. Since then, the app’s only been available as a private beta, but starting today, Microsoft’s offering it up as a public beta for anyone with a Windows 10 device.
Whiteboard is a compelling little app. It’s sort of a digital sibling to Microsoft’s pricey Surface Hub. The app will start rolling out to Windows 10 over the course of the next 24 hours, bringing the ability to essentially brainstorm, ideate, iterate and all of those other fun work things in real time across multiple devices running the same operating system.
The app uses a swap or a pen input, turning objects into standardized shapes in order to create tables, flowcharts, diagrams and the like; autosaving work to the cloud, others can pick up where you’ve left off. It looks like a pretty compelling app, and one that straddles the line between Microsoft’s traditional work focus and its current push to recruit more creative types through its Surface line of products.
Of course, these sort of work apps are really tough to get right, even with all of the advances to cloud-based collaborative over the past few years. Multi-device collaboration does require at least one person have an Office 360 subscription. Whiteboard is out of beta, but still in preview, so it’s not quite the final version. Microsoft’s still soliciting feedback, including feature requests through the app.
No word on whether or when the app might be coming to additional operating systems, but given Microsoft’s mobile strategy of late, I wouldn’t be too shocked to see it arrive on Android and iOS devices in the not too distant future.