Microsoft has announced that its Whiteboard app is getting a big update this summer, which should allow all meeting participants to visually collaborate across the same digital canvas in hybrid work environments. The company has also detailed some new capabilities coming to the Whiteboard experience in Microsoft 365, including collaborative cursors, a virtual laser pointer, and more.
“Over the past 18 months, while many people were working remotely, we learned that customers needed virtual-first tools to creatively problem solve with others. To help people thrive in a more flexible work environment, we have reimagined the Whiteboard experience to help our customers collaborate, wherever and whenever,” the company explained.
First off, Microsoft Whiteboard is introducing new collaborative cursors to help coworkers easily follow along and track changes in a shared document. New templates are also coming to the Whiteboard to empower hybrid teams to create engaging content more quickly. The app is also adding some other new features like a virtual laser pointer, inking support, reaction stickers, and more.
Later this summer, the software giant plans to roll out Fluid Components (such as task lists and tables) to its digital Whiteboard. This update will transform the app into a “rich visual collaboration workspace” by allowing them to collaborate across different Microsoft 365 apps. The company has also made it possible to organize ideas in an auto-layout grid with Notes Grid.
Microsoft is overhauling the Whiteboard user interface by introducing new collaboration features and content types, including fluent toolbar, creation gallery, and top bar. The entire app will now look and feel the same across all platforms, operating systems, and devices. The Whiteboard experience in Microsoft Teams has also picked up pen support, and the shape recognition feature will now automatically straighten all the shapes drawn on the canvas.
Microsoft has also unveiled today plenty of enhancements coming to the Teams Rooms devices, including Surface Hub. The company is planning to expand Fluid components to Teams Meetings and other Office apps, and you can find more details in our separate posts.