Microsoft has launched its Loop app in public preview. The productivity application combines elements of documents, spreadsheets, and presentation apps in a single collaborative space.
Microsoft Loop was first unveiled at Ignite in 2021 and has been in beta testing since last year. It is based on the company's Fluid Framework, which is designed to remove barriers among Microsoft 365 applications and allow app components such as tables, charts, and lists to be embedded into different apps and updated in real time by multiple users.
The way employees work together has gone through significant changes over time, said Wangui McKelvey, general manager for apps and endpoints at Microsoft, in a blog post announcing the release.
“Now, in our current landscape, we encounter more ambiguity and uncertainty than ever, requiring us to co-create in fast-paced and dynamic environments. We need tools that embrace the messiness of our creative process and can adapt to our ever-evolving needs,” she said.
Loop consists of three main elements: Loop components, Loop pages and Loop workspaces.
Loop components are portable pieces of content that can range from lists, tables and notes, which are currently supported in Teams, Outlook, and Whiteboard, and are soon to be rolled out for Word for the web.
Loop pages are flexible, shared canvases where users can organise their Loop components and pull in elements like links, files or data, while Loop workspaces function as shared platforms where users can see and group the important elements of their projects together.
Any content element on a Loop page can be turned into a Loop component and it’s also possible to share an entire Loop page, either via a link or as a live page. Any changes will update across all the places where the component or page was shared.
Microsoft Loop also provides progress trackers and custom labels, while tasks that have been assigned in the Loop app and in the task list sync across Microsoft Planner and To Do. Users can react to any edits that have been made via comments, nudges, reactions, and emojis.
Copilot integration available in private preview
Last week, Microsoft announced Microsoft 365 Copilot, a chatbot that automates various tasks in multiple Microsoft office apps. In a blog post detailing Microsoft Loop, the company said it has built Copilot into Loop, with the AI-powered tool providing prompts and suggestions to help guide content creation. The Copilot integration is available in private preview.
Copilot in Loop can also summarise the content of a Loop page and the content of documents linked in the workspace. Summaries can be edited to add more detail or context and sent to others as Loop components.