In a coming of age, bitcoin is about to get some Microsoft Corp. love as the tech giant plans to support the cryptocurrency in the next version of Microsoft Office.
The upcoming support, now listed on Microsoft’s Office Roadmap site, will see Excel being able to recognize, format, calculate and analyze numbers expressed in bitcoin, and will be supported by versions running Windows 10, Android, Mac OS and iOS as well as the Excel Mobile version.
Microsoft Account Executive Martin Bulter also confirmed the news on LinkedIn, saying that the upcoming bitcoin support will be one of five upcoming features. The other four are real-time transcription and translation of Skype Meeting Broadcast; conditional access policies for locations and apps; new data gathering and shaping capabilities for Excel; and OneNote improvements for classroom and collaboration.
The tech giant has long been a reasonable supporter of bitcoin. It first added support for bitcoin payments via the XBox store in 2014, before subsequently withdrawing payment support and then reinstating it. However, Microsoft has taken a larger interest in Ethereum, another blockchain-based payments method that can also be applied to digital asset tracking.
It made Project Bletchley, its Ethereum-based consortium blockchain technology, available in September 2016. Project Bletchley can be used to deliver scalable, next-generation enterprise apps that can employ the best aspects of the blockchain.
The announcement of bitcoin support in Microsoft Office is also a win for investors in the cryptocurrency at a time when controversy continues over attempts by the Internal Revenue Service to obtain bitcoin transaction records from bitcoin exchange Coinbase Inc. As NewsBTC points out, “The recent IRS summons to Coinbase for information about its customers has called for the need of a software that can help people calculate taxes. The addition of bitcoin support for Excel offers some comfort until other options surface.”
It’s not clear from the reports exactly when support for bitcoin will be made available but it’s expect sometime in the next 12 months.