01 Jun Microsoft 365 – The existing winners and the future stars
In the previous blog we explored some of the most famous features of Microsoft 365 from their conception to the pantheon on which they now reside. We also highlighted that, due to the world’s reliance on technology increasing so abruptly, many of Microsoft 365’s features have become an even more integral part of people’s lives – especially in business.
We also pointed out that, regardless of any unforeseen changes to the digital landscape over the last 30 years, Microsoft has always been a staple technology company – the gift that keeps on giving.
Microsoft has produced some truly revolutionary applications over the years, some of which have shaped the lives of generations. We will now explore some of the new features of 365 and discover whether these have the same potential.
Microsoft 365 – The future stars
Custom backgrounds for meetings
Previously, custom backgrounds when in a meeting were only available on Teams for desktops but they are now available on any device. Before entering the meeting, the option for ‘Background effects’ is directly above you to the left; click there, and you will be presented with a variety of different backgrounds or you can take/choose your own from your picture gallery. Previously it was only possible to blur the background – but now you can change and adapt the background accordingly. This feature can come in very handy if you are in a particularly unprofessional location when answering the video call.
There could be a variety of different reasons why you can’t understand what the other member(s) of your team are saying (for example, it could be due to a thick accent that you can’t quite comprehend or perhaps a technical difficulty with their microphone). Live captions make it possible to read everything the other recipient(s) says – it appears at the bottom of the screen with their name next to it so it is clear whose speech you are reading. This can be incredible for business; not only do you have a written record of what was said but it allows you to always come across as professional and attentive (because you don’t have to continuously ask the talker to repeat themselves).
‘Meet now’ meeting link in Teams
We have all used the ‘Meeting’ feature of Microsoft Teams. It has been the lifeblood of many organisations throughout COVID and has been responsible for keeping both the staff working together and also the company ethos alive. I can hear you saying “yes, but the only problem is that they must be scheduled” – or at least they did. Microsoft Teams new ‘Meet Now’ feature allows you to get a link to share with another person instantly. No longer do you have to schedule the meeting in the calendar. I’m sure you will agree that this can come in very handy when there is a particularly important issue that needs to be sorted immediately.
Break the language barrier with a built-in translator
With the communicative capabilities of businesses nowadays and some businesses having offices in multiple countries – all speaking different languages – the language barrier has gradually become more and more of an issue for some organisations. Outlook now has this covered. The translator for Outlook is an add-in that translates email message text on the fly. Once having installed the translator you are asked to input your Microsoft 365 or Outlook.com email address and password so that it can associate the add-in to your email account, meaning you can use it in any Outlook clients (Outlook for phone, Outlook.com, Outlook for Mac, etc) without having to install it repeatedly.
Share to Teams
We have all been there – you’ve just returned from a well-deserved holiday in a hot exotic location and you are welcomed back into the office by 30 emails all from the same 2-3 people discussing something. With Outlook now sharing to Teams the annoying, unproductive email chains will stop becoming an issue in your organisation – it allows you to ‘push’ emails to a chat of your choice on Teams. As an added extra, it gives you a search feature so you can search your entire Teams landscape – no matter its size – and find the right individual / chat / channel that the emails relate to if you wish to explore them in more detail.
SharePoint Page Analytics gives a roundup of page views, the number of views that all your pages have between them, and the time spent on each of them – not that impressive so far you say, as there are many applications that can do that. But there are features of Page Analytics that make it unique – for example, the ‘Lightbox’ feature allows you to use bigger more detailed images and squash them down to fit onto your page – if someone wants to view them in more detail they need only click on the image, and it will then pop up in what Microsoft are calling a ‘Lightbox’ (where everything around the photo fades away, giving you a clear concise image on which to focus).
These are just some of the new exciting and upcoming features from Microsoft in 2021.
Your Managed IT & Microsoft 365 Specialists
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