Microsoft announced many news today at the event Ignite 2019 in progress in Orlando. Among all stand out Office for Android (of which we had already spoken yesterday) and iOS (HERE more details), a completely renewed app that collects Word, Excel and PowerPoint under one roof.
Leaving aside the aspects strictly enterprise, dedicated to companies, we can summarize the announcements as follows:
For completeness, we also mention Project Cortex, a tool based on artificial intelligence that analyzes company data and automatically organizes them by subject, delivering information "to the right people within the organization".
OFFICE FOR IOS AND ANDROID
We will not be going to dwell here on beta release of Office, which in fact replaces Word, Excel and PowerPoint by combining them in a single application. Less space occupied on the smartphone, more ease in performing operations and therefore optimization of time and overall performance.
With Office it will be possible to read, write and scan documents, create tables or presentations, all without ever "bridging" between one app and another. We can consider it a hub, given that – in a nutshell – this is the novelty. Each sub-app (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) remains essentially unchanged. The Actions tab allows you to quickly and easily transfer files from your computer to your smartphone, convert images, scan QR codes and much more.
Final note: the logo also changes, now in Fluent Design. As mentioned, the preview is available for both operating systems.
Artificial intelligence and Cortana are protagonists in Microsoft 365. The voice assistant "is now a natural part of Microsoft 365", and the most important news concerns its role in Outlook, where it will also be available with a male voice (with improvements also from the point of view of the fluidity of the language thanks to neural networks).
Play My Emails
It is now available in the US on iOS, while it will arrive on Android in the spring of 2020. Cortana reads the emails aloud, manages the agenda and interacts with her natural language. Even the interface is all new, specifically designed to be easily accessible when on the move. The vocal listening can be done either through headphones / earphones, or through the audio system of your car. Specific features will be dedicated to Surface Earbuds, announced by Microsoft in early October.
Thanks to artificial intelligence, Play My Emails turns out to be a real conversation between Cortana and the user. The AI recognizes who sent the emails, summarizes the information and relates them to the calendar. In addition, the assistant will tell if it is better to read the message rather than listen to it, perhaps because it integrates important graphics that, by voice, cannot be reported.
Cortana is now able to send the user a "summary" email of all the commitments and documents deemed relevant. The function will be released in the USA at the beginning of 2020. Meetings and appointments will also "pass" by Cortana: per involve, just add it to the recipients in the mails. The assistant can then organize a meeting on our own: just tell her when and where, and she'll take care of the rest. All this thanks to Scheduler, arriving at the beginning of 2020 and available in preview from today (USA).
Stream and Teams Chat button in Outlook
Microsoft uses machine learning algorithms to detect e erase background noise in the videos. It is now also possible to create short videos from smartphones to share in Yammer, Teams and PowerApps.
The new Teams Chat in Outlook key allows then to turn flows of emails into Teams chat: in this way, the discussion turns out to be more fluid and understandable.
EDGE AND BING
Not just a new logo, but also a completely renewed browser. The release candidate for Windows and macOS is available now, while the stable version will be released on January 15 in more than 90 languages. HERE you will find the link to download the beta. It will also come on iOS and Android.
Microsoft Search is now integrated into Bing, function that is accessible not only from desktop but also from mobile device. In particular, it allows access to the information sought (definition of acronyms, files, names of employees) directly from the search bar.
Microsoft also announced the availability of Fluid Framework (announced at Build 2019) in public and private preview for developers.