As our customers around the world look for new ways to empower people for hybrid work, we’re committed to offering them experiences that enable everyone to connect and collaborate from home, at the office, and everywhere in between.
From viewing live transcriptions during Microsoft Teams Meetings and tracking changes in Microsoft Excel documents to discovering and securing unmanaged devices, this month we’re announcing new features across Microsoft 365 designed to enable the flexibility that hybrid work requires. Other highlights include the ability to transform Microsoft Word documents into beautiful PowerPoint presentations using AI, expanded polling capabilities in Teams, and an updated Remote Desktop for Mac app.
Let’s dive in.
Make meetings more engaging, inclusive, and productive
This month, we’re announcing live transcriptions for Teams Meetings, new capabilities for polls, and the general availability of Meetings recap.
Expand access and streamline the management of polls in Teams Meetings
Last month, we announced several new features to help you deliver a seamless, engaging meeting experience using polls. We have expanded access to polling so meeting attendees who are external guests or are joining from Teams mobile app have the same quality experience. And meeting presenters and organizers can soon launch two new poll types—open text and multiple-choice quiz—providing more options to help ensure your attendees are heard and engaged. We’ve also released intelligent poll suggestions, which help minimize the effort it takes to create polls, and post-meeting poll insights to help uncover meeting engagement metrics and enable you to take action on your gathered information. These features will become available in the next few weeks.
Make meetings more inclusive and productive with live transcription
Live transcription allows meeting participants to follow and review conversations (in English-US) alongside the meeting video or audio in real-time. This promotes inclusivity for participants who have hearing disabilities or different levels of language proficiency. Attendees who joined late, or missed the meeting, can also easily catch up by reading what was discussed and searching the transcript by speaker. Participants can also choose to not be identified in meeting transcripts. To enable live transcriptions, tenant admins will need to turn on the Allow transcription policy.
Stay on track and keep work moving forward after meetings are over with meeting recap
Microsoft Teams now will provide a recap with the meeting recording, transcript, chat, and attached files being shared with participants in the meeting Chat tab and viewable in the Details tab. Those who missed the meeting, joined late, or want to revisit what was discussed can play the recording or review the transcripts respectively. Meeting recap is now rolling out.
Collaborate more easily in Excel workbooks, stay organized, and save time creating presentations
This month we’re announcing several long-requested features to Microsoft 365 apps.
Collaborate with confidence with Show Changes in Excel Workbooks
One of our most requested features for Excel is finally here—the ability to track changes. Now, you’ll see the details of who changed what, where, and when, along with the previous value of the cell for quick reversion. You can narrow down the list of changes by selecting any sheet, range, or individual cell to see all changes that were made, including bulk edits. Show Changes is now available.
Transform Word documents to PowerPoint presentations with just a few clicks
Last month, we announced a new capability in Word for the Web that enables you to export a Word document as a professional-looking PowerPoint presentation. This new capability uses AI to suggest imagery, icons, videos, themes, and fonts to arrange your content. This feature is now available to all users.
Connect, organize, and get things done more seamlessly with updates to Outlook for the web
This month, Outlook for the web is rolling out an update to make it even easier to navigate Outlook and access your favorite apps. We’re updating the experience with a new location for your core Outlook capabilities such as email, calendar, and contacts, as well as providing easy access to launch other Microsoft 365 applications like To Do, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Yammer, and Bookings, all from the left side of Outlook. Start a presentation after checking your mail by simply clicking PowerPoint—one click, and you’re on your way. In the next couple of months, we will also be offering this update to Outlook for Windows to those who wish to try it.
Categorize similar tasks with more editable labels
Labels are a quick, visual way to categorize similar tasks in Planner and Tasks in Teams. Currently, you might use labels to tag tasks with the same completion requirements, dependencies, or issues, and then filter your plan on those labels to zero in on related tasks. But we’ve heard from you that you need more label options, and we’re happy to announce we’re increasing the number of available labels from six to twenty-five. This update is now available on all platforms.
Making hybrid work environments more secure
This month, we’ve added the ability to discover and secure unmanaged endpoints and network devices to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, and released an updated Remote Desktop for Mac app.
Remain productive and protected on M1 and Intel-based Macs with Remote Desktop
Given today’s remote work scenarios and the shift to hybrid work, more and more businesses rely on virtual desktops to help ensure their employees can remain productive and secure wherever they work. We’ve updated the Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac to add native universal support for macOS, making it easier for those using M1-powered Macs to have an optimized remote desktop experience. This update also provides Kerberos integration and support for East Asian keyboard input.
Protect unmanaged devices with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint
As we have entered into new hybrid work environments, businesses need to think about how they will proactively protect their organizations from the influx of new or “bring your own” (BYO) connected devices. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint now provides a new set of capabilities that empower organizations to discover and secure unmanaged workstations, mobile devices, servers, and network devices on their business networks. No need to deploy new hardware or software or make changes to the network configuration to get protection. This new capability is now in preview—turn on preview features to try it out today.
Also new this month
- Microsoft Viva Connections is now available for the Teams desktop experience, providing a curated, company-branded experience that brings together relevant news, conversations, and other resources.
- Microsoft Viva Learning is now available in preview. Sign up to test out the app in Teams which creates a central hub for learning where people can discover, share, recommend, and learn from content libraries across an organization.
- The Microsoft Visio desktop app now includes support for sketching Amazon Web Services (AWS) architectures, offering more than 400 infrastructure shapes to help visualize the design, deployment, and topology of IT solutions built on AWS.
As we all navigate a new world of work, we’re committed to helping every organization embrace flexibility in when, where, and how people work. From live transcriptions that make Teams meetings more inclusive to remote desktop updates that help make hybrid work more secure, all of these new capabilities reflect that commitment. There’s so much more on the way, so stay tuned. And be sure to check back here next month when we’ll be sharing the news from Microsoft Build, our annual developer’s conference.