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Keep people in the [Microsoft] Loop, available now on Teams and Outlook

Do you remember where you were, that time when you, and other people on different computers, were able to edit a document at the same time? It probably was Google Docs, am I right?

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Cloud computing moved us from needing to send files to each other, which many of you still do, come on stop now... and instead keep those documents on a web application, such as Google Docs, Word Online and maybe thousands that have sprung up. The two major benefits of using cloud computing in this way are:

  1. Optimized collaboration, each person in their own time, is using the correct version.
  2. The documents are optimized to be accessed across devices, such as a desktop, laptop, and small form factor units.

Yet something was missing

Over the years, as this method of collaboration in the cloud has become more commonplace, one issue has remained. Many of us continue to rely on email, and we've simply replaced file attachments with hyperlinks. Either way, we need to come out of our email, to go somewhere else, even if that somewhere else is another internet browser tab.

If you can't beat them, join them... everywhere

Imagine if in the same way as many of us work on Google Docs, or Word Online (and all the similar cloud apps) instead of needing to open up an internet browser, the document is right there, in the email!. Like seriously, no need to jump out of the email. Whether you're the originator, the first recipient, or the 20th recipent, each person sees the correct version... but in their email. 🤯 Mind blown?

Meet Microsoft Loop

Microsoft Loop is being spoken by many as a "Notion killer". Notion, cue my overly simplified explanation, has been similarly disruptive as Google Docs. Google Docs started by replacing a word processor, meaning there has always been this underlying design intention that these documents are meant to be printed. Notion is web and device centric. It looks and feels more like an interactive web site, than a modern word processor.

The early renders, from a year ago, of Microsoft Loop show it as looking quite like Notion. In the last few months, Microsoft introduced the early parts of Loop known as components. First to Microsoft Teams. And more recently to Microsoft Outlook for the web.

What might we use Microsoft Loop for?

I want to be able to use Loop with my client work, but I am not yet sure if that will be possible, as it looks like its best used within an Office 365 instance (i.e. internally only). I anticipate using it for things like roadmaps, task lists, plans and other documents that are likely to change fairly quickly.

I also imagine using it for sales pitches. I would draft something to then share with a manager, or managers, sales and other colleagues, so that we can achieve agreement asynchronously on the pitch; before presenting it to the client.

How will you use Microsoft Loop?