Microsoft is launching its collaborative Whiteboard app on Windows 10 today, and promising versions for iOS and the web soon. The app has been in preview for Windows 10 for the past seven months, and it’s now being made widely available on PCs alongside a new version for the web and iOS devices. Whiteboard lets users make notes on a virtual whiteboard that can be shared and edited with others in real time across devices.
Anyone can access the app, but to collaborate with multiple people at least one person in the group will need an Office 365 subscription. Whiteboard supports inking on Windows 10 so styluses like the Surface Pen can be used for collaborative inking, geometry recognition, table conversion, and automatic table shading. Whiteboard users have been using the app to write out process flows, create tables collaboratively, and brainstorm presentations.
While an iOS app is debuting soon, the Whiteboard team is also working on an Android version for the future. It’s not clear exactly when that will be available, but the web version of Whiteboard will work on Android mobile devices in the mean time. Microsoft hasn’t restricted its Whiteboard app to any particular browser either, and all major browsers are supported.
There’s no technical limitation on how many people can collaborate on Whiteboard, but Microsoft is strangely limiting the web and iOS versions to an Office 365 commercial account at the moment. Whiteboard participants don’t need to use a stylus to draw or annotate, keyboard input and touchscreens are also supported so all modern devices will be able to make use of the app. Microsoft is also planning to integrate Whiteboard into its Microsoft Teams chat app, and bring the app to its Surface Hub device.
Whiteboard is based on Microsoft’s acquisition of Intentional Software last year, and the software maker has been working to integrate this software into Microsoft’s products. Intentional Software was founded by Charles Simonyi, who was a former chief software architect at Microsoft. Simonyi left Microsoft in 2002 after helping create Office apps like Excel and Word.