The month of December is coming to a close, and it is now time to look back at the new features introduced in Microsoft 365 this year. In 2020, Microsoft announced plenty of new services and features to help users deal with the ongoing pandemic and adapts to remote learning or working.
As usual, we have divided this recap into different sections to highlight different Microsoft 365 apps and services, including OneDrive, Teams, Microsoft Outlook/Word/Excel, and more. Here’s a look at what you need to know.
We’ll start with Microsoft’s file hosting and sharing service OneDrive. The firm added lots of features, most notably, the announcement of new Microsoft Teams integrations. OneDrive gained new file-sharing capabilities in Teams to provide a consistent sharing experience across Microsoft 365. Microsoft also made it possible to store Teams meeting and call recordings in OneDrive for Business or SharePoint.
This month, OneDrive picked up a new feature called “Add to OneDrive” that makes it easy for users of the service to add shared folders into their private OneDrive folder list. Microsoft also increased the upload file size limit from 15 GB to 100 GB in OneDrive and SharePoint for all users. Other important features added to OneDrive can be seen below.
- Improved new first-run experience in OneDrive
- The company delivered a new OneDrive widget for iOS 14
- OneDrive on iOS got a new home experience
- Enhanced file protection and governance capabilities in OneDrive and SharePoint
- The new file detail pane and activity feed allows users to see file activity and comments in a single view.
- OneDrive for iOS now supports uploading and viewing Live Photos
- OneDrive family and group sharing, which allows users to predefine their family or friend group for sharing photos, albums, or documents.
Though not included in the year’s news, there’s still more coming for OneDrive in 2021. The company announced that it’s bringing Dark Mode to OneDrive for the web across personal and commercial accounts. The update is expected to go live in January 2021.
The Covid-19 pandemic might be upon us, but Microsoft Teams shows no signs of slowing down in terms of new features. In 2020, Microsoft rolled out a bunch of big updates for Teams. The first of them is the ability to create Virtual Breakout rooms during meetings.
The company released new personal features for preview in the Microsoft Teams desktop and web clients and mobile apps. Thanks to these features, users can now chat with friends or family members who don’t have a Teams account. The personal version of the app provides location alerts when a family member leaves or arrives at designated locations.
Some of the other added features for Microsoft Teams include interoperability between Skype for Business and Teams, and the ability to switch between personal and work accounts. We invite you to check out our in-depth recap post to read more about Teams updates.
It looks like Microsoft Teams will continue its incredible run of innovation and growth. We remind you that there’s still more coming for Teams in early 2021. The popular collaboration platform will soon support native OS notifications on Mac and Windows, meeting reactions, and more.
Microsoft Outlook, Word, and Excel
Third on our list will be Microsoft Word, Outlook, and Excel. In August, Microsoft announced that an audio transcription feature is now integrated into Word for the web. The feature lets users transcribe recorded video/audio files and live meetings. Also falling under the same category is the ability to dictate with voice commands in Office mobile and the web version of Word.
As for Microsoft Excel, the company announced some important updates in June. The first is Forms for Excel, a new experience that makes it easier to gather information from employees within an organization. Money in Excel, is another new consumer-focused solution that helps to manage accounts, including budgets, transactions, credit or debit cards, and much more.
Finally, with Outlook, there was a major change earlier this fall. Microsoft introduced cloud settings and roaming signatures in Outlook for Windows. This means that users can now save some settings to their cloud profile and sync their Outlook signature across devices. Also, Outlook for Mac got updated with a fresh new look to prep for Big Sur.
The new Lists app, Native Office 365 Apps for M1 Macs, and more
To end the recap, we’ll look at some updates for SharePoint and the other Microsoft 365 apps. First of all, the SharePoint Spaces is now generally available, and developers can now create mixed-reality spaces. There’s also a new My Feed web part for SharePoint, which shows relevant content from across Microsoft 365.
As we covered before, the new Lists app, one of the newest apps for Microsoft 365, now helps users track information and organize work. Microsoft Lists supports commenting, and it provides various views in Teams. The list of new additions to Microsoft 365 includes a new version of Microsoft 365 for Mac apps that runs natively on the new M1-powered Apple MacBooks.
Needless to say, Microsoft definitely improved on Microsoft 365 in 2020, and the updates to Microsoft 365 reflect that. The firm has announced many new services, including Project Moca, Universal Print, a Microsoft family safety app, Microsoft Editor, and Microsoft Productivity Score. We remind you that you can keep up to date on all the latest features and news via our dedicated news hub.