In this post I like to give an overview on Microsoft Loop and what we know so far. Microsoft has announced Loop on Ignite 2021 Fall edition (November 2nd to 4th, 2021) besides many other very exciting news. Loop is a new collaboration tool for you which brings together three key areas: workspaces, pages and components. Let’s dive in a bit deeper.

Source: Microsoft Loop | Flexible Canvas App

What’s Loop components?

Components – I would note that these are fluid components – are lists, tables, notes, tasks, or may be other more sophisticated elements e.g. from Dynamic 365. The big advantage is that these components are synced across devices and apps, i.e. if you make a change it is directly synced to all others devices and apps, more or less instantly and live. Third-party vendors should also be able to build Loop components using “message extensions applications and Microsoft Graph connectors“, as stated on Microsoft Office – Transforming for the hybrid world – Microsoft 365 Blog. But wait, it is also stated, that more details for (third-party) developers on this are planned to be announced on the next Microsoft Build, so Build 2022 (~ H1 2022).

Now that we know and have an idea on what components are, let’s go ahead to Loop pages.

What’s Loop pages?

Well, as the name already reveals, Loop pages are pages. What’s the deal here? As you might already assume, it is also seems to use the fluid framework and fluid components. Pages enables you to add (fluid) contents to a canvas. This means you can work with (fluid) components and other elements like files, links or data. It can help you and your team to organize contents and knowledge [in my opinion].

What’s Loop workspaces?

In a few words, it is a collaborative and shared workspace canvas wherein you can create, plan, brainstorm and bring together everything you and your team needs for a certain topic, e.g. a project. On the canvas you are flexible and can add elements (e.g. files, links) or components which are all synced across devices.

Check out the Microsoft Office – Transforming for the hybrid world – Microsoft 365 Blog to see workspaces in action, there is a (preview) video teasing its capabilities.

When are we supposed to get Microsoft Loop?

Are you already looking forward to test and use Microsoft Loop as I do? the Microsoft Office – Transforming for the hybrid world – Microsoft 365 Blog states that the roll out of Loop components (!) shall begin this month in Microsoft 365 apps like Teams, Outlook, and OneNote. However, this statement is also followed by another one, telling us that we will have to wait for the further announcements the coming months regarding the actual Loop app.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

Microsoft Loop is a new real-time collaboration app utilizing Microsoft 365 services and the Fluid Framework. It is rolled out in phases before we finally can get the Loop app and (third-party) developers can extend it.

To me, Loop is providing next level co-authoring and real-time collaboration on (fluid) contents. Contents are kept up to date everywhere if changed at one place because it is synced across devices and apps. Just imagine how this could look like in Teams collaboration scenarios, internally as well as externally.

Loop pages, to me, looks a bit like a new app which could supersede and replace Microsoft OneNote over time? I mean I can add notes to pages and (fluid) components and other elements as I do today in OneNote. Although, OneNote can be used as element/component in Loop as mentioned above. The rising question is why both? Just to add (legacy) existing notes and provide a smooth transition? I’m not sure what the (long-term) use case for this is, but let’s be patient, give it some time and wait for it’s release first to dig in to Microsoft Loop in more detail.

What do you think? Feel free to write a comment telling what you think about it and what your expectations are.

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