Apart from announcing a whole lot of Azure functionalities, Teams features, and Edge upgrades, Microsoft also had new and upcoming capabilities to unveil for Microsoft 365 at its ongoing Ignite 2022 conference.
First up, Outlook for Mac now supports focused profiles and focus filters offered by Apple. These profiles can be configured on a per-account basis and will apply to all associated elements such as notifications and themes.
Additionally, Microsoft has revealed other capabilities coming to Outlook. These include working hours and locations so there is more visibility over when it's appropriate to schedule meetings with someone, meeting recap to find recordings and associated information directly from the calendar event, email message reactions, and Editor powered by Context IQ - rolling out in preview now - to surface relevant information and people in Outlook on the web. All of this will be generally available by the end of this year.
Speaking of Microsoft Editor, it's getting some new capabilities in preview too, including tone suggestions, summary of a large document, and conciseness in Word for the web. In the same vein, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are also getting a personal toolbar that contains their most commonly used commands.
Furthermore, Microsoft has announced a range of new features for Microsoft Project for the web. By the end of this year, the software is getting Sprints and a People view to monitor task allocation and workload. And during the start of 2023, connectivity to Viva Goals, Goals in Project, Assigned to Me, Task History, Advanced dependencies, and Task limits of up to 1,000 will become available too.
Microsoft is also making it easier to create and view video content in Stream. Background blur, inking, text, and effects have hit general availability while Teams meeting recording can now also be accessed from the Teams mobile app. Other capabilities in tow include personalized timeline markers, auto-generated chapters, and intelligent search. All of this should make it easier to find important content, particularly while watching a lengthy recording.
Moreover, the Redmond tech giant has formally announced Microsoft Syntex as well. This is a collection of apps and services powered by AI that can make it easier to analyze and organize unstructured content. It can automate content-based workflows such as e-signatures, supports annotations and redactions, and integrates tightly with Microsoft Search too. Other capabilities include management and protection of data, scenario accelerators, integration with business apps like Dynamics 365, and containers. Syntex features have begun a gradual rollout starting from today and going up until early 2023.
After being announced almost a year ago, Microsoft Loop is now available as a private preview. For those unaware, Loop is a new Microsoft 365 app that also offers portable components that can be used with other services such as Teams, Outlook, and OneNote. Expansion plans for Loop components over the next few months include:
- Inserting a poll, checklist, or task list component into a Word for the web - Private preview by the end of 2022
- Copying an existing Loop component and pasting it into Whiteboard in Teams, web, and desktop - General availability by the end of 2022
- Polls powered by Microsoft Forms syncing with Outlook on the web and Word on the web - Private preview by the end of 2022
- Q&A - preview in Outlook on the web available now, general availability later this year
- Sensitivity labels - Available in Teams chat by the end of this year
- Data Loss Prevention (DLP) - Available in Teams chat by the end of this year
A new Microsoft 365 app is in the works too. Microsoft has described it as an evolution of the Office app that essentially gives you access to everything in one place, along with AI-powered intelligence. The new app will begin rolling out next month and while Microsoft hasn't given us a first look at it yet, it will also pack new features such as a Feed to keep track of activity and trends on shared files, an apps module to access any Microsoft 365 or associated third-party app, and the ability to tag your content for better organization.
There are a few updates over on the Viva side too, we have described them briefly below:
New features generally available for Viva Insights
- Meeting effectiveness surveys
- Schedule send suggestions from Viva Insights
- New Focus mode experience
- Quiet Time settings
New features for Viva Learning
- Learning paths - Private preview
- Learning collections - Private preview
- Permissions - Private preview
- New features for Viva Learning mobile app
- New Home page - Private preview
- Complete learning courses on the go inside the app
- Search and filter catalogs of connected learning providers
- Viva Engage Storyline is generally available while Stories are in private preview
- Viva Goals is getting new first- and third-party integrations including Slack, Google Sheets, Jira on-premises, Microsoft Teams, Power BI, Microsoft Project, and more
New features in Viva Topics, now in preview
- Leveraging Context IQ
- Microsoft Syntex Connectors
- Topic cards will surface in Outlook on Windows and Viva Connections dashboard
- Find relevant content and automate answers with Viva Engage
- Badge icons on Topics along with number of views
Which features are you most looking forward to within this particular Microsoft 365 and Viva stream? Let us know in the comments section below!
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