Office 365 Distilled EP 45: The Book of News – Swedish Style

The boys are still super excited at Ignite 2020! After listening to the keynotes, they are now ready to dissect the Book of News and to share their top 5 most awesome features!

1 Cortana is coming back

For both of us, number 1 in the Book of News, the voice assistant that we already heard on the duo reveal is now getting a more prominent place in your pocket/workplace/laptop/desktop/other form factor. Every sci-fi movie has a murdering intelligence, so it is time to get one.

After the Alexa and the Google things, we want Cortana to help us in our work (“Cortana, help me to get to inbox zero” – Yes I deleted all your emails…). I think that any technology needs 3 competitors in a space to truly propel that technology forward.

Going all business forward with Cortana instead of letting her tell jokes and do riddles was the best way forward. If you point Cortana towards where your data is, in Office 365, it is going to be huge. It will play your emails and do a daily briefing. She is now matured, but calling her a MILF (Master Information Life Force of course) wouldn’t be appropriate.

2 Client apps

Excel users can discover and connect to Power BI datasets so they can work with real time datasets. Because it is super difficult to get to those datasets right now!

Word design ideas will bring the PowerPoint awesomess to your documents. How much have presentations changed since the design ideas have launched? I am now just working on the content for a presentation, and then do the pimping/design work in the last 5 minutes. This will simplify the work you need to do with setting up the documents with all the different styles you get when other people collaborate with you on a document.

3 Bookings got little press

Bookings will get a new layout and customizing opportunities. It was designed for the local hairdressing shop but is now being used all over the place by organizations big and small. We just wait until it is matured enough.

4 Teams love

Teams is getting so much love these days:

Teams templates: Set up a project template just the way you want it.
Home app will show your intranet (Home site) in Teams. Let’s just hope you can choose what site you want it to display. Or maybe even show one site to one part of the organization, and another to other people.

Stream will no longer be the place where meeting recordings will be stored: they will go to OneDrive and SharePoint. This now means that we can put compliance and retention, security and sensitivity on them because they are files in SharePoint. There will be a migration involved though to move the content from the proprietary storage into the large SharePoint storage.

The Tasks app is coming to Teams..finally!

And are we excited about the new Together Mode Scenes? Do we want an “adult theme with dancing poles” together mode scene? Or a whisky bar? It still looks goofy, but it works.

And live captions! They just got way better! And localized!

5 Productivity Score

It is about using AI to check your adoption levels, how people are adapting to working from home. Mindfulness and how to get people comfortable on working online.

6 Syntex

I love syntex.. all my underwear is made from it! Or is that Spandex? I am just not happy with the name, sounds like a garment for underwear.

Do companies still have much of these templated documents? So will this actually be used? I already did something like that 15 years ago in my first SharePoint project. In 15 years I had 3 projects like this.
So how viable is this? Won’t documents be scanned to the right systems anyway? The HR system, invoices, contracts, …


And then we don’t even talk about Project Oakdale (PowerApps Light for Teams), offline Lists, and so on. In short.. This was a really nice Book of News we got this year!

One important absent app in the Book of News was Outlook Spaces!! Where are they? We got teased about them, and now no news?

Whisky: MackMyra Gruvguld

Down the Swedish coal mine we go, thanks to Sven! A country where we thought they only drank vodka but this an up and coming label! Not on the cheap side and the first to do an AI blend (where we still want to talk to someone from the company about!).

We are tasting the Gruvguld (Gold from the mine,) referring to the Bodas mine where they stored the freshly distilled casks. They needed a place to store their barrels in a place that has no changing elements.

This is stored in oak barrels, finished in bourbon. No age label on it.

Orange amber color, dark yellow. First nose is harsh, medical hints. The taste is full of fruit and sweet notes. Some dried tobacco, cookie dough smell and vanilla. Interesting dram! A drop of water turns sand into earth and brings out the peated flavors.

The finish is dark, with roasted toffee notes. This is a whisky that you either love or hate! There is no in-between with this distinct taste. A whisky like this belongs in a stacked bar.

Gruvguld - Mackmyra

About: Marijn

Marijn Somers (MVP) has over 14 years experience in the SharePoint world, starting out with SP2007. Over the years the focus has grown to Office 365, with a focus on collaboration and document management. He is a business consultant at Balestra and Principal Content Provider for "Mijn 365 Coach" that offers dutch employee video training. His main work tracks are around user adoption, training and coaching and governance. He is also not afraid to dig deeper in the technicalities with PowerShell, adaptive cards or custom formatting in lists and libraries. You can listen to him on the biweekly "Office 365 Distilled" podcast.