Microsoft makes Office 365 social through trio of game changing ideas

Microsoft is weaving a number of social network-esque concepts into Office 365 with three new pieces of technology set to revolutionise the productivity suite’s user experience unveiled at this week’s SharePoint 2014 conference.

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It has transformed Office 365 with the addition of Office Graph, a personalised activity feed called “Oslo” and a collection of “next generation portals”, according to The Register.

The new applications are built with “four fundamental beliefs” in mind according to corporate VP Jeff Teper, which are “cloud, social, mobile, big data.”

Office Graph is a machine-learning concept that analyses content, user interactions and activity streams before charting relationships between them to find the content that is best geared towards the user.

This is the base that “Oslo” works from and it shows content in a number of different views that in one guise displays information in the form of cards that take advantage of Windows 8’s polished interface.

It shows content in a similar way to Facebook with a Newsfeed like list of projects and objects that are being worked upon within an organisation. The content can then be filtered out according to criteria including “presented to me,” “shared with me,” “modified by me,” and “trending around me.”

Oslo doesn’t stop there, and also social profiles that come from Office Graph and show up in another new feature known as “Groups” help to separate out co-workers, friends and peers without having to enter a external social networking site.

The company also previewed a number of new APIs to support the new features and allow developers to link applications with Microsoft’s OneDrive storage suite more easily, as well as deal with the “People” elements.

In addition to this it also announced the Office 365 Video Portal that brings in some of the Windows Azure media service features that will let organisations upload, store and find videos “in a secure manner.”

Versions of Office Graph tailored to mobile and desktop devices will be released during the second quarter of 2014 when Windows 8 users can work out whether Microsoft’s social network is worth abandoning Facebook and LinkedIn for.

Image Credit: PC World