Microsoft teams get fluid components, ‘main step’ meeting application integrations

Microsoft Unveiled new team features This building construction virtual conference is designed to increase staff support and productivity this week, with in-depth application integration for new co-related features between video meetings and changes.

Together, the move aims to expand the team as a work platform, said Angela Ashenden, chief analyst at CCS Insight, allowing users to bring a wider set of applications and processes into the team environment.

Among the updates is Secretary Stage Integration, which brings third-party tools, such as whiteboards or design applications, to the central team meeting screen – Microsoft’s “main stage.”

Shared phase integration, in the current private preview, follows Team applications for the meeting launch in November last year, Which allowed developers to connect 20 third-party applications to the team meeting interface, although they were only accessible via the side panel.

The integration of third-party applications in Tims follows similar moves by Microsoft’s rival Zoom. Announced integration for its own video meeting platform At the Zoomtopia conference last year. “Although it was not the first market to announce an app meeting for the team, Microsoft has doubled its investment in this area and has been able to use its experience to move the market forward smoothly,” Ashenden said.

Other developer-focused updates include the ability to create custom scenes for the team’s Together mode (expected to be available this summer), “Media APIs” to build services around audio and video streams, and “Meeting Program APIs” to automate certain workflows. Events such as the beginning and end of a meeting. Microsoft assures that additional event APIs will be available later this year.

Microsoft also announced that its “fluid components” would be accessible via the TIMS chat interface. Announced in the build in 2010, the Fluid Framework aims to bridge the barrier between collaboration and productivity applications. This means separating elements such as tables, charts, and lists and allowing them to be connected to different devices and updated in real-time.

The Fluid component in the team will allow users to, for example, update to add “next steps” to the shared task list, which can be accessed simultaneously and edited by colleagues using Outlook.

“This is part of a wider investment that Microsoft is making to reconsider the well-established document creation concept, although it is taking time to become a reality, first announced two years ago,” Ashenden said.

“It’s also an area of ​​increasing competition, with startups driving with coda and airtable startup concepts, following the coupe and most recently Google announces through its smart canvas announcements.”

Fluid components in Tims are currently in private preview.

Wayne Kurtzman, IDC’s research director, said cross-platform integrations are part of a broader move to connect teams to external applications to reduce the need to switch screens. That’s the area where Microsoft is playing catch-up with its competitors.

“Microsoft is quickly moving the team to its next chapter where the software you need is integrated into teams: an area that is challenging for them when competing with Slack,” he said. “If Microsoft were to use its technology family to do more work in a ‘single pane of glass’ and eliminate context switching, it would be fun to see an improved experience enhanced with Azure from Native Intelligence.”

Copyright 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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