Microsoft Ignite 2021: On Tuesday, the tech giant hosted its Ignite 2021 event, which focused on the future of work in a hybrid environment. The Redmond-based corporation demonstrated the new capabilities it has introduced to its wide range of products in order to promote a world that is more digitally flexible. Mesh for Microsoft Teams is the most important of them all. However, not only will Teams receive additional feature updates, but Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Office will also receive new features. Financial Express Online has compiled a list of all the announcements made during Ignite 2021.
Mesh for Microsoft Teams is the most significant enhancement in terms of the level of interactivity (as well as the element of fun) it offers. “The feature combines the mixed-reality capabilities of Microsoft Mesh, which allows people in different physical locations to join collaborative and shared holographic experiences,” Redmond wrote in a blog post. “The feature also combines the productivity tools of Microsoft Teams, where people can join virtual meetings, send chats, collaborate on shared documents, and more.”
Let us go over this in greater detail. It’s best defined as a workplace version of interactive simulation games. It’s a technique to make the most of virtual space while imitating physical meetings, with businesses having the option of duplicating the physical office atmosphere in a virtual room with the same look, where avatars of employees meet for work-related discussions.
“Mesh for Microsoft Teams ushers in a new era of two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) collaboration. In an immersive environment, how you project yourself is extremely important. Personalized avatars allow you to personalise your avatar and use artificial intelligence to mimic movements and gestures, allowing you to bring your physical presence into the conversation even when your camera is turned off. Organizations will also be able to develop immersive places that mirror actual spaces like conference rooms, design centres, and networking lounges to stimulate serendipitous water-cooler contacts, according to the business.
Apart from that, Teams will now allow users to give roles to other people in the meeting, as well as observe the sequence in which hands were raised in the meeting, ensuring that all users are heard. In reality, Microsoft has partnered with hardware providers for Teams. “The Yealink desk Vision AIO24 with its new 24-inch display may be utilised as a standalone device for Teams collaboration or linked to a PC as a second screen once certified,” it stated.
With the integration of events and hospitality management platform Cvent with the video conferencing solution, capabilities for holding virtual events via Teams are also being extended. “A slew of new webinar and streaming features will make it simple to set up and deliver professional, engaging experiences to both internal and external audiences.” Before the event begins, organisers and speakers will be able to interact, monitor chat, conduct Q&As, control guest settings, and share information in the virtual green room. Organizers and presenters will be able to control what attendees see on screen, ensuring that only shared content and participants are visible. Both of these capabilities will be accessible in early 2022, according to Redmond’s blog post.
That isn’t all, though. Microsoft 365 has introduced the next significant innovation (in Microsoft’s terms, not mine) – the Microsoft Loop! “Microsoft Loop is a new programme that enables teams to think, plan, and create together by combining a powerful and flexible canvas with portable components that move freely and stay in sync between applications.” Microsoft Loop is made up of three parts: Loop components, Loop pages, and Loop workspaces, according to the business.
Loop components are modest productivity pieces that allow users to collaborate while still finishing work in the chat, meeting, papers, or emails. Users can either create their own Loop components or utilise those provided by Microsoft, such as the Voting Table for quick brainstorming and decision-making and the Status Tracker for tracking how a work is developing.
Microsoft describes loop pages as “flexible canvases where you may organise your components and pull in helpful features like links, files, or data in ways that meet your individual project needs.”
“Loop workspaces are collaborative environments where you and your team can see and group anything relevant to your project.” Furthermore, workstations make it simple to keep track of what everyone is working on, react to others’ ideas, and track progress toward shared goals,” it continued.
The Loop components will be available in preview in Teams, Outlook, and OneNote in the coming months, according to Microsoft.
It also unveiled Clipchamp, a new tool for users of all ability levels to create better videos. Microsoft is currently integrating a recording studio to Powerpoint in order to improve presentations.
Microsoft is also incorporating AI capabilities into its products. “The promise of AI has always been to boost human competence in seemingly magical ways.” With Context IQ, this is becoming a reality. Context IQ converts insights into action by leveraging the power of Microsoft Graph to gather insights about your work throughout the day, then predicting, seeking, and suggesting the information you need at the point of action. Context IQ, for example, “takes Microsoft Editor to the next level,” Microsoft said, “assisting with things like suggesting a relevant file or document, finding available calendar times with collaborators, suggesting colleagues to tag in emails, and suggesting related Loop components for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales opportunity records.”
That isn’t all, though. At Ignite 2021, Microsoft unveiled the Azure OpenAI Service, which “allows access to OpenAI’s API through the Azure platform and will be offered by invitation only at first.” Customers will have access to OpenAI’s sophisticated GPT-3 models, as well as security, reliability, compliance, data privacy, and other enterprise-grade features built into Microsoft Azure, through the new Azure Cognitive Service.”