At the end of September 2017, Microsoft held its annual Ignite conference, showcasing the new and upcoming products from its roadmap. Included were updates to the search interface, Office 2019, and more. Below we’ve listed the top five features which will bring new and exciting enhancements to business owners:
1. Office 2019 will be available in 2018
The next major release of Office, which includes staples such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, is coming. This software is for users not in the Office 365 program. Although details haven’t been released, it appears that the 2019 version of office will include some of the enhancements Office 365 users are already enjoying, such as 3D animation in Powerpoint and more. The new Office will also include more tablet functionality, including pressure sensitivity and ink replay. Preview copies will be available in mid-2018 will full release later in the year.
2. Microsoft Graph will chance search experience
Microsoft is betting heavily on search across all Office 365 products, connecting sites, files, people, email into a single unified search capability. Previously, users had to search within a specific program to find what they were looking for. With Graph, a user can be in Outlook and find a document in Sharepoint without having to leave the page. There is also talk of integrating LinkedIn data with Office 365 data cards, furthering the ability to view relevant information across your business.
3. Skype is moving…again
First it was Lync, then it was Skype. Now the popular messaging and voice over IP program is getting another change. Over the next few months, it will be integrating with the already-existing Teams application, providing a unified communications program that will provide text chat, voice and video calling, audio conferencing, and more. This final move will fully integrate Microsoft’s unified communications with the above Graph search interface.
4. New Microsoft 365 bundles
First announced in July at the Inspire conference, the Microsoft 365 program aims to provide an all-in-one enterprise software management solution, bundling both Office and Windows 10 into a single subscription. Initially, only Enterprise and Business subscriptions were available. In September, they added on to this capability with additional bundles for Education and F1, or Firstline, for customer service and kiosk workers.
5. Excel data types are coming
Microsoft Excel is receiving a processing update by way of new data types. The idea behind them is simple: if you’re typing in a list of cities or companies, Excel will recognize the data and offer you options for additional data to add. For example, if you were typing a list of cities, Excel would offer a list of population sizes, states, or other supplementary information. There will be another tool launching called Insights, which functions much like the existing Power BI.