Microsoft prepares to roll out a series of updates to Whiteboard, the “intelligent canvas” application online collaboration.
A selection of new entries for the Microsoft 365 roadmap reveals Whiteboard users will soon benefit from a range of additional features, from the ability to embed video content and add comments to boards, to a timer to facilitate structured activities.
The new features are expected to roll out in fits and starts over the coming months, but they should all be available to customers by the end of the year.
Microsoft 365 upgrades
The latest upgrades to the Microsoft 365 suite can be seen as part of the ongoing arms race between Microsoft and other vendors over remote collaboration, productivity and video conferencing room.
Since the start of the pandemic, companies have battled to provide customers with the most comprehensive portfolio of facilities to enhance collaboration between teleworkersand now, to enable hybrid work arrangements where the staff is spread over different locations.
While the updates to Microsoft Whiteboard may seem insignificant on their own, they provide another opportunity for colleagues to exchange ideas and solve problems remotely, as well as for a subset of employees who work best with visual media.
They also contribute to the overall evolution of Microsoft’s software suite, complementing several recent upgrades, including the ability to: share pre-recorded video messages and deliver finely tuned presentations about teamsand the option to compose documents and emails with voice dictation.
According to data collected on behalf of Slice Mag Pro, Microsoft still has a significant lead over its main competitor, Google. As it stands, Microsoft 365 is the productivity suite of choice for most US companies (58.2%), while: Google Workspace is used by only 15%.
However, Google stole a march on Microsoft when it came to the real-time collaboration model, where software is delivered via the cloud, which has proven to be of great importance since the transition to remote and hybrid working.
In 2020, Google also rebranded G Suite as Workspace, indicating an increase in investment. As part of this process, the company announced it would make a concerted effort to create a more “deeply integrated user experience,” closing the gap with its rival.
In light of these facts, Microsoft cannot afford to rest on its laurels and continued upgrades of its own software will be vital to maintain its dominant market position, no matter how small the individual improvements.