Microsoft Starting to Deliver Loop Components to Teams Users
Microsoft announced on Tuesday that Microsoft Loop components are starting to become available to Microsoft 365 "commercial customers" using Microsoft Teams.
The Loop components are rolling out to desktop and mobile Teams users via its chat function. They are like little applications within Teams, letting users create notes, task lists and tables on the fly, which can be messaged to collaborative team members. Microsoft's "@mention" messaging capability can be used to send these materials. Coauthoring is supported with the Loop components, and users can see any changes as they get made.
Possible uses for Loop components might include tracking the status of projects or "crowdsourcing" ideas. They also can be used for breakout discussions within conversation threads, the announcement suggested.
Users can start up a Loop component via an icon, which is located under the text box that's used for Teams chats.
The Loop components have a full version history capability, which lets users go back to an earlier version, if wanted. They also can be discovered through a Teams search, which will also work for Office.com and Office Mobile App users.
Microsoft 365 'Breakthrough' Product
Microsoft Loop was one of the products highlighted by Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO, during a recent Microsoft Ignite keynote talk. During this month's Microsoft Shareholder event, Nadella described Microsoft Loop as the next Microsoft 365 breakthrough product, according to a Nov. 30 Microsoft transcript:
Microsoft Loop is the next big breakthrough in Microsoft 365. It's a new application for a communication-first and AI-first world that composes people's content into a collaborative canvas and reimagines how anyone can contribute.
The Loop components are just one aspect of the product, which also includes Loop pages and Loop workspaces. Loop pages are described as "canvases" for organizing Loop components, as well as "files, links or data" for collaboration purposes. Loop workspaces are described a "shared spaces," used for group projects.
More To Come
Microsoft earlier this month described building specific Loop components, such a "voting table" used to achieve consensus, a "status tracker" for monitoring projects and business workflow components that will work with Dynamics 365 records.
Back then, Microsoft promised to share more on the ability of "third-party application developers" to make Loop components using Microsoft Graph connectors. The details are being reserved for the 2022 Microsoft Build developer event, apparently as yet unscheduled, but which in the past kicked off in May.
The addition of Loop components to Teams chat is just part of Microsoft's plans. Loop components were also said to be coming to Outlook and OneNote, too, starting as early as this month, although they weren't mentioned in Microsoft's Tuesday announcement.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.