Microsoft Mesh generally available in January – Ignite 2023 announcement

Microsoft Mesh, currently in preview, will be generally available in January 2024.

With Mesh, users will be able to create custom immersive spaces tailored to specific business
needs, such as employee events, trainings, guided tours and internal product showcases.
Using a no-code editor, customers will be able to easily customize an immersive event or
the Mesh toolkit to leverage the power of Unity for fully customizable experience.
With the Mesh editor, users will be able to customize immersive experiences to address the
unique needs of the event without writing a line of code. Event creators will be able to
select from a set of ready-to-use immersive spaces, customize them by adding images,
videos and screen share in a shared 3D canvas, and have them show up in an event in an
orchestrated way. Once these objects are added, change the size and position, or put the
video on loop so it fits right into the event. These customizations can then be saved as a
template for anyone in the organization to reuse.

At general availability, additional capabilities will make it easier for speakers to interact
with attendees when hosting immersive events in Mesh. Event organizers will be able to
facilitate a Q&A session by enabling attendees to raise hands. Organizers will see the list of
hands raised, in order, and will be able to call on participants, engaging them directly.
When called on, attendees will be eQectively seen and heard by everyone in the event. This
makes immersive events more eQective and engaging, and brings elements of real-life town
hall experiences where organizers can facilitate a Q&A during an event.

The ability to customize immersive spaces in Mesh will be available in Teams Premium.

New features streamline IT management for Teams experiences – Ignite...

Several new features have been developed for Microsoft Teams to help streamline
processes for IT admins and organizations and include:

Teams Rooms low-friction deployment: Teams Rooms can now be deployed using
Windows Autopilot, in private preview, reducing deployment times from days to just a few
hours. For devices that can’t use Autopilot, Microsoft is introducing a simplified
deployment option with one-time passwords (OTPs), 16-digit codes that will eliminate the
risk of sharing access credentials. OTP will be generally available in November. Remote
Access is coming to the Teams Rooms Pro Management portal and will allow remote
troubleshooting and proactive maintenance, monitoring device health and preventing
issues before they aQect meetings.

Simplifying Teams Phone deployment with shared calling: Shared calling allows admins
to enable groups of users to make and receive public switched telephone network (PSTN)
calls using a shared phone number and calling plan. With shared calling, a single phone
number and calling plan can be shared across a team of users whether that’s a team of 10
people in a small oQice or 10,000 users in an enterprise department – they just need to
have a Teams Phone license through either Microsoft 365 E5 or Teams Phone Standard.
This feature is generally available.

Advanced Collaboration Tools: Advanced Collaboration Tools in Teams Premium
empower IT admins to provide a more secure and self-regulated environment. Priority
account chat controls, in preview, empower users to manage unwanted internal
communications via policies setting. Users are notified about chats from new contacts,
giving them a choice to accept or block the conversations. Advanced collaboration
analytics, now generally available, oQers deep insights into external collaboration
behaviors. It empowers Teams admins to facilitate successful collaboration and mitigate
potential risks of external collaboration.

The new Microsoft Planner brings together to-dos, tasks, plans and...

Microsoft is bringing together Microsoft To Do, Microsoft Planner and Microsoft Project for
the web into a single, unified experience called Microsoft Planner. This experience will first
be available in the Planner app in Microsoft Teams in spring 2024, followed by web
experiences later in 2024. Powerful, collaborative, scalable and assisted by nextgeneration
AI, the new Planner will help everyone eQectively manage their work and
achieve their goals.

The new Planner experience will scale easily from collaborative task management to robust
project management, empowering everyone, from information workers to frontline workers
to project managers, so they can manage their work in one place and accelerate business
outcomes with AI-enabled capabilities. Benefits will include:

• The ability to easily find tasks, so users can focus on the tasks they need to get done
• Helping users work the way they want. Whether for individual tasks or team
initiatives, Planner will enable them to choose the approach that’s best for their
• Creating project plans with powerful scheduling and resourcing tools. As plans
evolve, Planner will oQer a menu of capabilities to meet unique business needs.
• Copilot in Planner will help users get started with a plan faster with simple prompts
and as the plan evolves, it will add goals and intelligently suggest new tasks to help
keep users informed on progress.

In addition, the Tasks by Planner and To Do app in Microsoft Teams is being renamed
Planner. Microsoft Project for the web will also be renamed over the coming months. Users
of Project for the web can continue to use and enjoy the features they know, under the new
name Planner.

The new Planner app in Microsoft Teams with premium work management capabilities and
AI-powered experiences will be generally available in spring 2024, with the web experience
coming later.

More information:

Updates to Viva Engage and Viva Amplify – Ignite 2023...

Viva Engage and Viva Amplify are tools to allow organizations to connect everyone
through employee communities and conversations to build meaningful relationships and
give company messages needed volume. Updates to both platforms include:

Multi-tenant organization (MTO) communication: Viva Engage supports MTO
cross-tenant communication to make it easier for leaders to communicate and
engage at scale to build community across the organization. Leaders can send a
storyline announcement across tenants to share the same story to all stakeholders.
Responding, reacting and analytics will be supported for cross-tent posts. This
update is now generally available.

• Publish from Viva Amplify to Viva Engage: This integration will allow for publishing
from Viva Amplify to Viva Engage communities and storylines. It will also
incorporate content shared to Engage within reports in Viva Amplify. This update will
be available in private preview early next year.

Viva Goals and Viva Engage integration: The integration will bring mission,
alignment and results into communities and conversation by helping customers
build communities around goals, view goal progress from Viva Goals directly in Viva
Engage and create divisional communities within Viva Engage designed to help
leaders better communicate top-down interactions and initiatives, including
delivering praise based on goal progress and achievement. This update will be
generally available in the first half of 2024.

Seeded and AI-connected knowledge in Answers: This update will allow users to
use AI to generate questions and answers from existing files and import them into
Answers. Also, AI will automatically route open questions to people who might have
the answer. Users can identify the right topics for a question, see top similar
responses before publishing, and aid in routing to experts. This update will start
rolling out later this year.

Viva Amplify updates: Viva Amplify will include publication templates for
campaigns, adds localization in more than 50 languages and will include better
reporting from system data to incorporate custom data from HR tools into filtering
and reports. This update will be generally available in December.

More information:

Microsoft Loop now generally available with updated features – Ignite...

The Microsoft Loop app is now generally available for the web and mobile (iOS and
Android) for commercial customers. The Loop mobile app (iOS and Android) is generally
available for consumer customers as well. Full functionality is available to business
customers as part of their Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard and Business Premium

Recent improvements and new capabilities for the Loop app include:

Workspace status: Currently in private preview, Workspace status will provide
information such as upcoming deadlines and status changes to provide a simple
overview and help people know where to direct their attention.
Workspace descriptions: When a workspace is created, Loop will intelligently
surface files and documents that may be related to the project. A more descriptive
prompt can be included with the workspace title to return more refined results and
kick oQ a workspace with everything that’s needed. This capability is in preview.
Power Automate: Loop will integrate Power Automate to help simplify task tracking
and project management. A new rule can be created in a Loop table enabling
automatic notifications to be sent when the table is updated. This automation will
help teams stay on track while saving time to focus on what matters. This capability
is in preview.
Start a workspace from Teams: After a Teams meeting, a Loop workspace will be
able to be created and will be automatically populated with the related documents
and notes from the meeting, helping a team get started on their project easily. This
capability will be in preview by the end of 2023.

More information: