(Credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft announced today that it's releasing Whiteboard for Windows 10 to everyone, after beta testing the app for several months. The company advertises Whiteboard as a "digital canvas" where you can draw, paint, write, and scrawl just like with a physical whiteboard in a classroom or meeting room.

SEE: Slack competitor Microsoft Teams now has a free preview version

The added bonus here is that you can share your whiteboard with others online, and they can make changes in real time. In theory, this would make it a helpful collaboration tool for both students and office workers.

An Android version of Whiteboard is not as far along in development, Microsoft said, but in the meantime, you'll be able to access the web version via the Android versions of the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge web browsers.

As you might imagine, Whiteboard is designed to work with Windows 10 stylus tech like geometry recognition and table shading, so Surface Pen users may begin rejoicing. If you don't have a fancy stylus, there's also support for touchpads and keyboard input.

If you and your co-workers or fellow students have an Office 365 subscription, then Whiteboard will be available for everyone in your group to begin using together. Microsoft Teams, for which the company just released a free preview version that doesn't require Office 365, will also be getting Whiteboard integration. However, the upcoming iOS and web versions of Whiteboard will require an active 365 subscription.

Whiteboard is one result of Microsoft's acquisition of Intentional Software in April 2017, a productivity-oriented software company founded in 2002 by Charles Simonyi, who helped make Microsoft Office in the 1980s.

What if you have Windows 7 or mainly use Google Docs?

Like Microsoft Edge, Whiteboard feels designed in part to entice users to upgrade from Windows 7, which remains the world's dominate operating system, at least for home users. And while Office used to be a cash cow, it's lost a lot of ground against Google Docs and LibreOffice. But fans of Docs and Windows 7 aren't necessarily out of luck.

FOLLOW Download.com on Twitter to keep up with the latest app news.

For example, anyone can get Google Keep for free. It doesn't have Whiteboard's real-time collaboration, but you can sketch and scrawl things with a stylus or fingertip, then share it with others. A number of other online whiteboards are also just a Google search away, though they may not be as private or reliable as something from Microsoft. So if you need something for business use, then Whiteboard may be the better choice.

The takeaways

  1. Microsoft has released Whiteboard for Windows 10, a collaborative sketching tool that's free to download and use.
  2. iOS and web-based versions are coming soon, and they will require a subscription to Office 365. A native Android app version is coming along later, but you'll be able to use Whiteboard in a mobile browser in the meantime.

Also see

Tom is the senior editor covering Windows at Download.com.