“We believe in a future where there will be a Copilot for everyone and everything you do.”
- Satya Nadella
The curtains have drawn on Microsoft's largest annual conference, Ignite 2023. Under the visionary leadership of Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella, Ignite wasn't just a showcase of new products; it was a manifesto for a future powered by AI. In his opening remarks, Nadella outlined Microsoft’s commitment to democratise AI, making its capabilities accessible to everyone.
Here’s a wrap up of some of the highlights from this year’s Ignite.
It’s All About Copilot
Not familiar with Microsoft Copilot? Been living under a rock? Never fear, we’ve got you covered with our Copilot explainer. Copilot was the main course at this year’s Ignite with a raft of announcements across the broad range of products that Copilot touches.
Copilot comes at a significant additional cost per user. To help support its use, Microsoft has announced the Copilot Dashboard, powered by Microsoft Viva. This is designed to help clarify how Copilot impacts the organisation and changes the way people work. This dashboard can also be used to plan Copilot readiness, drive adoption and measure overall impact.
To make Copilot more accessible, Bing Chat and Bing Chat Enterprise will now become Copilot. This is currently in preview and will become generally available from December 2023.
To further extend Microsoft 365 Copilot, we will have the ability to build custom AI capabilities via Microsoft Copilot Studio. This can be customised to include datasets, automation flows and even custom copilots.
Say Hello to SharePoint Premium
Microsoft has unveiled SharePoint Premium, an AI-driven solution set to revolutionise content management and enhance content experiences. Designed to seamlessly integrate with Copilot, it introduces content experiences that support information workers by enabling discovery, interaction, and collaboration across various file types, enriched by AI analytics and branded document packaging.
SharePoint Premium is currently being previewed and is slated for general release early 2024.
Even More Teams Features
Immersive spaces will be introduced into the Teams platform and made generally available in January 2024. Currently in preview, immersive spaces enables users to transform 2D meetings into 3D experiences with the aid of avatars, spatial audio, seat assignments and audio zones which will allow users to have multiple simultaneous conversations without talking over each other.
Mesh for Teams (which we covered as part of Ignite 2022) will become generally available in January 2024. Users will be able to create custom spaces for events, trainings, tours and product showcases. It will also be easier for hosts to interact with attendees, for example facilitating a Q&A session by enabling attendees to raise hands.
Microsoft will also be rolling out a heap of new Teams meeting features including AI-driven voice isolation, background decoration and chat features including group chat profile pictures and forward chat.
Introducing Microsoft Fabric
Brand new and available now, Microsoft Fabric changes the way teams work with data, bringing everyone together on a single, AI-powered platform, creating an integrated and simplified experience. Microsoft Fabric will have deep integrations with Microsoft 365 applications and copilots to enhance analytics capabilities and scale data value creation.
A New Microsoft Planner Experience
To deliver a singular, unified task and project management experience, Microsoft is bringing To Do, Planner and Project for the web into one place, under the umbrella of Microsoft Planner. The new Planner experience will be more collaborative, scalable, and assisted by next-generation AI to help everyone manage their work and achieve business outcomes. This is expected to become available in Autumn 2024, followed by the web experience later in 2024.
Microsoft Loop Application Now Available
Microsoft Loop is now generally available for use on desktop and mobile. Here’s a reminder on what it’s about from its initial announcement at Ignite 2021.
Recent improvements and new capabilities include status and descriptions for workspaces, the ability to create workspaces from Teams and an integration with Power Automate.
More Updates from Microsoft Ignite 2023
For a full list of updates from Microsoft Ignite 2023, check out the Microsoft Ignite 2023 Book of News. There are so many exciting updates! If you’re unsure where to start or want to learn more about any of these updates, get in touch with WebVine.