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Exciting Updates to Microsoft in 2023

Updated: Jan 6, 2023

This is a list of the most exciting things (to me) announced at Microsoft Ignite. I'm mainly concentrating on the consumer side of things and talking about products that someone who isn't integrated into the Microsoft ecosystem would find interesting.


5. Office is becoming Microsoft 365

This update doesn't matter to me that much because I mainly use Google Drive and I'm very much comfortable with the way it works. I switch to office.com only while working with other companies in the Microsoft ecosystem, my primary system still remains Google Drive.



In addition to Office being rebranded as Microsoft 365 and a new logo, It's also getting a new Microsoft 365 App that will become the dashboard for all your work.

In my opinion, it looks really good! Integrating with third-party apps in addition to office apps like word and excel. All my work files are available and searchable from a single view, plus the teams and calendar integration shows me meetings, notes, and communication from my team. This does pique my interest and makes me wonder if I can be more productive using Microsoft 365 instead of Google Workspace.


 

4. Apple Integration

I have an iPhone and I use a Windows laptop. I also am a bit into the Apple ecosystem with an Apple One subscription which I use for Photo storage, Apple Music, Arcade for games & Apple TV.

Apple TV and Music are coming to Windows 11 as standalone apps. Plus iCloud Photos is getting integrated into Windows 11’s Photos app.

While it’s a long way from the seamless integration that iPhone and Macs or even Android and Windows currently enjoy. It most certainly is a welcome addition to Windows, while I debate switching over to the Mac.


 

3. Updates to Microsoft Edge

I recently switched over to Edge from Google Chrome. It was a surprisingly easy switch to Edge which imported everything including my passwords, extensions, and open tabs from Google Chrome with a single click. The New Microsoft Edge is very similar to Chrome plus you get useful, additional features baked in like web capture, immersive reader, shopping assistant, Collection, etc. and it is easy on your computer’s resources. The new Edge update I found interesting is the Workspaces feature which is very similar to Safari’s Tab Sharing feature. A set of tabs acts as a separate workspace that can be shared with a group of people. Plus a slew of accessibility and security features.



 

2. Microsoft Designer

I think this is very similar to Canva and could give it competition in the future. I currently use Google Drive for Docs and Sheets and Canva for presentations, designs, and graphic content. In Microsoft 365, Designer is one of the apps you get. The most significant hype-worthy feature of Designer is, without a doubt, the AI-Generated Images.

That is images created by AI using DALL-E 2. Whatever idea you describe is generated as an image. This is very cool for quickly creating images for blog posts, YouTube thumbnails, social media, and memes!

You'll then be able to import this image into the Designer, which will let you pick out a template and create designs for your presentation, blog posts, or social media. It's promising 100 million high-quality images & videos and Motion graphics to make designs more engaging.

I have joined the waitlist and am eager to try it out.


 

1. Microsoft Create

This is clearly Canva on steroids. It's a website that's available in preview right now which brings together -

  • Microsoft Designer for graphics and social posts.

  • Clipchamp, their new video editing software is also in Windows 11 for video editing, vlogs, and gaming with screen and camera recording at the same time.

  • Presentations with PowerPoint. Resumes, Flyers, brochures with Word.

  • Planners & trackers with Excel and even

  • surveys and quizzes with Forms.


There is a template for everything to get you started or you can start from scratch by jumping directly into one of these apps. This is actually quite awesome. I can create videos, Instagram stories, presentations, social media designs, documents, or an invoice from just a single place.


From currently where it stands, It's still a preview and a lot of things are work in progress and doesn't function as intended. Clipchamp, Microsoft's video editing software seems powerful and quite capable but it has an additional premium tier costing 8K rupees per year regardless of Microsoft 365 subscription.


So, while I'm sticking with Canva for now... I can't wait for Microsoft to properly bake these features into Create.


How integrated are you in the Microsoft Ecosystem?

Does any of these updates make you consider switching to or at least exploring the Microsoft Ecosystem?

Besides these, what upcoming Microsoft updates are you interested in?


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