We’d typically be waiting until the very end of the month to hear all the latest goings on in the world of Microsoft. However, thanks to the festive period  (HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!), highlights for December have been published early! Here’s everything you need to know about the anticipated additions to Microsoft 365 applications.

Dark mode has arrived at Office 365 for macOS 10.14 Mojave;

 

 

 

Over the next few weeks those of us on Mojave will be welcoming a brand-new UI on the much-loved suite. The system-wide theme is both, refreshing as the first major shake-up to hit the appearance of Office in a while, and is also easier on the eyes when in low-light environments. Additionally, the update includes an updated ribbon with new, pristine icons that offer continuity of the theme.
The dark theme extends across other Microsoft apps including, Outlook on the Web, OneDrive (MacOS), and To-Do (Windows 10).

 

[It is worth mentioning the those on Office 2019 for Mac, may not receive this feature due to the application being a standalone version that does not include automated systematic updates.]

 

Outlook has had a facelift!

Sticking with iOS, Outlook mobile users can expect a distinguishable and easy-to-use experience that adopts the characteristics of the desktop Outlook we are all familiar with. The blue banner is there! Yet thankfully, it shrinks as you navigate, allowing for maximisation of important content. Additional design variations include the introduction of avatars, these are displayed next to contact information, making it easier to see whom you’re communicating with.

Microsoft have also focussed on efficiency in event scheduling. Pending on the context e.g. meetings, appointments, etc. Outlook will automatically suggest relevant people, dates and places for you to select.

Fear not, iOS indicators are still present in the native typography and fonts that are used, furthering the seamless integration with MS and Apple.

[iOS users should note that there isn’t capability to make appointments private, as there is on Android or Desktop versions of Outlook.]

You can get Outlook for iOS from the app store!

Skype and PowerPoint welcome live captions and subtitles;

Skype:

In the aim to make technology increasingly inclusive and accessible, Microsoft have introduced live speech capturing which renders as text, to Skype. The feature is already being rolled out, yet currently, only supports the English language. However, Microsoft will be quick to rectify as support for over 20 languages is promised, within the up-and-coming weeks.

What is incredible about this feature is that it offers the ability to translate the subtitled language. This is especially helpful in the instances of attending meetings which isn’t in your native tongue, thanks to the ability to speak in one dialect, and read simultaneously in another by simply amending a setting. Further broadening the reach of communications across the world!

PowerPoint:

Microsoft have vowed to begin the rollout for live captions for PowerPoint in January 2019. Initially, the feature will support 12 spoken languages, and over 60 text languages upon launch, offering an advanced platform for presenters.

AI will be the power behind the platform, not only working with spoken text, but also what text is presented on the slide. Customisable elements allow for captions to be positioned where best suits the presenter. There’s no doubt, these features will excel presentations to a new league that’s been unchartered by many, until now.

[An additional feature new to PowerPoint this month, is the ability to reuse slides from existing presentations. AI capabilities issue automated recommendations for relevant slides, increasing efficiency and optimisation of brand assets.]

Increased Functionality with Microsoft Bookings;

Released to the world in 2017 Microsoft Bookings offers a flexible and convenient way to schedule appointments. You can either navigate people to the bookings page or schedule a booking in-house.

We’re welcoming some excellent updates and integrations to Microsoft Bookings this month!

Enterprise grade controls;

Bookings now has the ability to synchronise with Facebook, allowing for visibility of the bookings system on designated social pages. This allows you to remain current with your followers, and in some instances can exceed your competitive edge.

When adding new team members to the system, they will now receive an automated email notification, detailing availability and visibility on the system. This feature has been greatly anticipated and offers us a boost in efficiency in internal onboarding procedures.

Office 365 admins can also set a requirement which allows employees to opt-in and confirm availability before publication. This is managed within email as an approve or reject link.

These settings can be configured within the admin portal; Settings/Services, ‘Add-ins/Bookings.

Integration;

Skype for Business and Teams meetings will be supported within Bookings as of early next year. This will allow efficiency in turning bookings into online meetings, which could benefit collaboration, customer satisfaction and productivity, to name a few.

Bookings can now be integrated with PayPal or Stripe, this will allow you to collect online payments. The feature needs to be enabled by your Office 365 admin.

Customisation;

We now have the ability to customise within confirmation emails; add URLs, and service specific text including directions or instructions.

Microsoft have also given greater control over availability, with the option of creating as many rules as required. Easily manage baseline hours, and service hours, as well as individual availability.

Thanks to popular demand, we also have control over the primary and secondary colours displayed. This is great if you want to transcend branding consistently through your website/emails etc.

Microsoft really encompasses what continuous improvement is all about. And what’s more, they understand the importance of end-user preferences. Many updates are published with the aim to satisfy the people! Which is exceptionally important in the alignment of business goals and the curation of the Modern Workplace. Hence compatibility with iOS, and integration with Google products.

So that’s our lot for 2018, and with technological advancement in AI utilisation and application being so significant this year, who knows what’s on the horizon for 2019!

Want to know more about Microsoft 365?
Connect with Marie Kevan today: go.848.co/Marie

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