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Microsoft to make Office 365 ‘smarter’ by social, APIs, machine learning

Microsoft 365

Microsoft from its barrio will go on to add novel software, developer tools and capabilities to Office 365 in an attempt touted to make the cloud applications suite a “smarter” product that is better at helping people interact at work.

At its SharePoint Conference, which kicks off in Las Vegas on Monday, Microsoft will demonstrate a new-fangled machine learning application code-entitled “Oslo” which is intended to comprehend as to how employees work in Office 365 and with whom.

Oslo will base its insights on a variety of signals gleaned from how people use Office 365’s components, like Exchange Online for email, OneDrive for Business for storage, Lync Online for IM and video conferencing, SharePoint Online for team collaboration and Yammer for enterprise social networking. Microsoft calls this information the Office Graph.

Based on that input, Oslo will suggest and display more prominently the co-workers, followed by documents, files, email messages, notes and other Office 365 elements it determines are the most relevant and important for each particular user at any given point. Oslo will serve as a search engine for Office 365, and will also work in the background to proactively map and surface user connections across the suite’s applications.

“It’ll lead to better team collaboration and better personalized insights,” alleged Jeff Teper, a Microsoft corporate vice president.

Microsoft will showcase Oslo at the conference and plans to launch it in the second half of the year. The company hasn’t yet decided which Office 365 editions will have it, nor has it yet determined if it will cost extra.

Teper supplemented that Microsoft hasn’t decided if or when Oslo will appear in the on-premises versions of SharePoint, Exchange and Lync. To make sure they have the best, most and latest Office server product features, customers should go to Office 365, he believed. “We’re optimizing on the cloud,” Teper purported.

Office 365 will also get a new groups feature modeled after the one in the stand-alone Yammer product. It will give teams a set of collaboration tools plus shared an email inbox, calendar, files library and activity stream.

“We’ve taken the groups concept from Yammer and extended it throughout Office 365,” Teper maintained. Rhetoricising that – “The idea here is to deliver a unified collaboration experience across Office 365.”

Microsoft is also expanding the Yammer integration with Office 365 via what it calls “inline social” capabilities, such as enterprise social conversations inside documents stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive aimed at Business.

Office 365 will also gain a new video portal where users will be able to upload, store and search for work clips. Office 365 will automatically compress, optimize and render the videos.

For developers, Microsoft is releasing an Office 365 software development kit for Windows 8 and Android that will let programmers build applications that can tap into Office 365 data and capabilities. Microsoft is also enhancing existing Office 365 APIs (application programming interfaces) for PowerPoint and Outlook, and prepping new APIs for Office 365 files, contacts, email, calendar and tasks.

The SharePoint Conference runs through Thursday. Microsoft from its part expects about 10,000 customers and partners to attend.

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Jawed Akhtar

A Journalist by interest and a Music Enthusiast by passion. Wedded to Mother Nature, Jawed indulges his aesthetics in travelling and reading books of varied genres. Having covered News stories for top Dailies in his formative years, that is, he is game for tryst with Technology at Techmagnifier.

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