It’s time to take stock of the previous month, Microsoft reminds us of Microsoft 365 news this month. This month, Redmond highlights updates to Teams, Excel, Word, and Outlook, and more.
Microsoft 365 and Teams Improvements and News in April
First of all, we need to talk about teams and video transcription with attribution. This new functionality has arrived just with the new accessories designed for teams. Although, as it usually happens, this feature is first implemented for users in the United States. The feature allows users to transcribe scheduled meetings, which not only serves as an accessibility feature, but also a way for users to refer to important points raised during the meeting. Additionally, Teams now also has the Meeting Summary, which provides a recording, transcript, files, and chat history after the meeting ends, in the Chat tab of the meeting.
Another improvement in Teams is the availability of surveys for external users and for those who join from their smartphones. It also improves with the addition of free texts and multiple choice quizzes in surveys, thus expanding the possible responses of participants. All of these features are being rolled out and it might take a few weeks to see them.
What’s new in Excel
Beyond teams, improvements have been made to the Office suite. Excel on the web gets a new View Changes collaboration feature. This feature tracks and lists the exact changes made to a worksheet by authors for up to 60 days. It is being deployed to Microsoft 365 subscribers. The Redmond firm also details the “Export to PowerPoint” feature introduced last month in Word. This feature of Word helps users to automatically convert text document to PowerPoint presentation using AI.
New layout in Outlook
Outlook on the web receives a slight design update in the form of an updated left pane that contains Outlook “core” components such as email, calendar, and contacts, as well as shortcuts to other Microsoft 365 apps such as To Do, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Yammer and more placed just below these icons. The design mimics that of the Office application on Windows and on the web. Microsoft says it will eventually implement this in the desktop app as well.
Planner improvements in Teams
Finally, there’s an improvement in the Planner in Teams when it comes to editable labels. The tools will now allow users to add up to 25 tags, instead of the previously available option of adding only six.
Finally, there is an update to the Remote Desktop application for Mac which brings native support for the Apple M1. Additionally, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint has new preview features to enable organizations to “discover and protect unmanaged workstations, mobile devices, servers, and network devices.”