Microsoft Loop is a new app offering portable components to enhance workflows

Microsoft Loop leaked a few days ago, leading many to believe that Microsoft is working on a new workspace app. Today, at its Ignite 2021 conference, the company made this official by announcing Loop as a new Microsoft 365 app that also offers portable components that can be used with other services such as Teams, Outlook, and OneNote. However, this integration will be rolled out in preview over the next few months.

GIF showing Microsoft Loop in action in Microsoft Teams

Loop is built on the Fluid Framework open-source platform and features three essential elements: components, pages, and workspaces. Loop components are the smaller building blocks of a workflow such as lists and tables that stay in sync with other Microsoft 365 apps. Other examples of components include a voting table for decision-making and a status tracker to measure progress. Loop pages are canvases where you organize Loop Components, and finally, Loop workspaces are shared spaces where you group all your ideas for a project.

Microsoft plans to roll out more components with the passage of time whereas the aforementioned components will be available soon across other Microsoft 365 apps. More information will be revealed at next year's Build conference, but in the meantime, you can find out more information here.

That's not all that Microsoft had to announce when it comes to the Office space. It also revealed a new JavaScript API that will be generally available later this month and will enable developers to create custom data types. Microsoft Editor now offers integration with ContextIQ that will provide AI-powered suggestions such as attaching files and tagging colleagues, among other things.

Microsoft Forms Collection is now generally available too, it archives all your quizzes and forms in Forms directly. Additionally, Microsoft is also working on a new recording experience for PowerPoint called "Recording Studio". The immersive experience will feature integration with Designer and Cameo, and will become available at the start of 2022. Smart Alerts in Outlook ties in better with event-based add-ins - which are now generally available - and enables developers to validate content before an email is sent, in order to suggest potential improvements.

Finally, Microsoft is updating the Office.com and Office app on Windows. The idea is to make it easier to find files and send reminders about content that may need attention. Specific UI areas that are being served enhancements are the Home page, My Content pane, and Create pane.

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