As hybrid work shifts from “new” to “the new normal,” we’re continuing to learn how to successfully navigate the transition. One thing remains clear: hybrid work is about providing flexibility. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. One of the latest findings from our Work Trend Index1 illustrates this perfectly: when we surveyed our own employees, we found those who plan to spend the most and least time in the office are doing so for the same reason: focused work. Through the launch of new technologies, like Windows 11 releasing on October 5, 2021, we’re empowering employees to contribute and be productive from anywhere, on any device, at any time.
This month, we’re adding more spoken languages to live captions and transcripts in Microsoft Teams. And in preparation for a season of new operating systems, from Windows 11 to Apple iOS and macOS, we are adding new capabilities to Microsoft Endpoint Manager to help ensure your employees have a great experience on day one. Let’s dive into these, and our other announcements, for more details.
Deliver more inclusive meetings for everyone
Earlier this month, we shared several new Teams announcements to help organizations prepare their physical office spaces for hybrid work, make remote meetings as effective as being in person, and enable employees to stay in the flow of work.
We’re now introducing enhanced support for live captioning and transcripts and Microsoft Viva Topics integration between Microsoft Yammer and Microsoft Viva.
- Turn on live captioning and transcripts in more languages: Now, meetings held in one of the supported languages are also supported by real-time captioning and live transcripts. We have expanded to 27 new spoken languages including German, Portuguese (Brazil), Japanese, and Hindi to name a few. Users on mobile can view captions in the supported languages, and desktop users will be able to switch the spoken language. This provides flexibility and additional clarity for your participants to engage in the meeting. Customers can access this via a Teams Meeting on the desktop app by clicking the More Actions option.
- Discover knowledge with Topics integration between Yammer and Viva: Yammer is integrating with and adopting Viva Topics to make community-sourced knowledge easily accessible across an organization and support a consistent experience in Microsoft 365. With this new integration, Topics will refer to the same thing whether in Yammer, Viva, or elsewhere in Microsoft 365. For example, users will see topics in Yammer enhanced with Viva Topics experiences, such as Viva Topic cards, and Viva Topics experiences like pages and cards will include content from Yammer—such as questions and answers and conversations. To get started, download the Yammer Topic API Changes documentation.
Co-author encrypted docs and create more colorful diagrams
This month, we’re adding support for co-authoring in encrypted documents and custom colors in Microsoft Visio for the web.
- Co-author in encrypted documents in Microsoft 365 Apps: In 2019, we added support for sensitivity labeling in OneDrive and SharePoint, enabling labeled and encrypted documents to be opened, edited, and AutoSaved in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on the web for the first time. This month, we’re extending co-authoring and AutoSave to include Microsoft 365 apps on the desktop for both Windows and macOS. Now, multiple people can co-author Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents simultaneously, frictionlessly, with auto-save, while maintaining the sensitivity labeling and document protections, across the web and desktop applications. This capability helps enhance organizations’ ability to keep their sensitive content protected while empowering users to be more productive while working remotely. This feature is available for Current and Monthly Enterprise channels following our channel release cadence.
- Expand your color palette with custom colors in Visio for the web: Until recently, Visio for web users were limited to Theme Colors, Standard Colors, and the option to change the transparency for objects in their diagram. With the addition of Recent Colors and More Colors, you can now quickly access recently used colors in your diagram or choose from a full spectrum of colors. View the Recent Colors and More Colors documentation for details.
Ensure your employees can be productive from day one
This month, we’re releasing new capabilities to help ensure you’re prepared for your employees to be working from new versions of Windows, Apple iOS, and macOS.
- Understand device readiness for Windows 11 with Endpoint analytics: With Windows 11 nearing release, you’ll need to know which of your devices are ready for an upgrade. The Endpoint analytics service in Microsoft Endpoint Manager offers a new Windows metric that helps you measure the number of devices running older versions of Windows, and then provides remediation steps to upgrade your Windows OS version.
The digital employee experience plays a huge role in overall satisfaction and productivity. Our Endpoint analytics service provides your organization with meaningful metrics and insights for measuring the quality of your users’ experience, while also helping you assess the performance and health of various endpoints managed by Microsoft Endpoint Manager. Learn more about Endpoint analytics and how the recent enhancements can help you assess digital employee experience.
- Manage iOS 15 and macOS 12 with Endpoint Manager on launch day: Apple announced several changes coming to iOS 15 and macOS 12 at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June 2021. This month, we announced that Microsoft Endpoint Manager will be able to support many of your endpoint management needs on day zero release of the new versions of Apple’s operating system to help keep your endpoints secure and protect company data. You can learn more about these and other new iOS, iPadOS, and macOS endpoint management capabilities that can improve the experience of workers on the frontline and hybrid work environments. These updates are rolling out now in line with the rollout of the new Apple operating system and through the October 2021 release of Endpoint Manager.
Looking to the future
From the upcoming launch of Windows 11 to the updates in Microsoft Teams that help every attendee feel more included, we’re committed to supporting the work-from-anywhere model required for hybrid work. And there’s more to come. Our next blog will cover announcements from Microsoft Ignite, our biannual product announcement event, which we’ll be brought to you digitally this year.
1 Work Trend Index, WorkLab, Microsoft. 2021.