Microsoft is merging to-dos, tasks, projects and plans into Planner for one unified collaborative experience.
Announced at Microsoft Ignite this week, the tech giant is combining Microsoft To Do, Microsoft Planner and Microsoft Project for the web into a single product. The Planner app in Microsoft Teams will be updated with these newly merged features in the spring of 2024, with web functionality scheduled to be added later in 2024.
The new Planner experience will scale easily from collaborative task management to robust project management, empowering everyone, from information workers to frontline workers to project managers, so they can manage their work in one place and accelerate business outcomes with AI-enabled capabilities.”
The AI-powered capabilities that Microsoft Planner will include are the ability to find tasks quickly so users can focus on the most time-critical tasks and functionality to enable employees to work in the specific way that they want. Whether for individual tasks or team initiatives, Planner can empower users to choose the most suitable approach.
Users can produce project plans with innovative scheduling and resourcing tools. As those plans grow and change, Planner can provide an assortment of features to address distinct business needs. Copilot in Planner enables users to start a programme faster through basic prompts. As the project evolves again, it can introduce goals and smartly suggest new tasks to help users stay up to date on progress.
Notably, the Tasks by Planner and To-Do app in Microsoft Teams is being renamed Planner soon. Microsoft Project for the web will be renamed over subsequent months. Users of Project for the web can continue to leverage the feature set they understand under the new name Planner.
What Else Has Been Announced at Ignite 2023?
Microsoft is rebranding Bing Chat and Bing Chat Enterprise as part of Copilot to simplify the user experience. The move intends to make Copilot more accessible for everyone to leverage the tech giant’s premier AI-powered productivity tool via Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
For subscribers of Microsoft Entra, Copilot in Bing, Edge, and Windows also introduces commercial data protection. Copilot (formerly Bing Chat Enterprise) will be out of preview and become generally available starting December 1.
Among several new updates being added to Microsoft 365 for frontline workers is Copilot’s availability for subscribers to the F3 license.
Copilot will be added to the F3 license starting in December and will be available for no extra cost. The product will also include commercial data protection, allowing frontline workers to make intelligent requests. Examples include looking up inventory or summarising large internal documents without being worried about sharing sensitive business data.
Other updates to Microsoft 365 for frontline workers include the Shifts plugin for Copilot, dynamic features for managing frontline teams and being able to deploy Shifts at scale.
Microsoft is also adding new management tools to the Teams Admin Center, including shared calling for Teams Phone. Announced at this week’s Microsoft Ignite event, shared calling simplifies Teams Phone deployment, allowing admins to empower groups of users to make and receive public switched telephone network (PSTN) calls through a shared phone number and calling plan.
Other significant new management features being introduced are low-friction Teams Rooms deployment options and advanced collaboration tools.
- View more Microsoft Ignite news here