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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Sterner

My thoughts about Microsoft Ignite 2022 – live in Seattle

Finally I gathered my thoughts on the latest Microsoft Ignite – this time hybrid and I was there IRL in Seattle 😍😍. As always I want to share what news I found exciting and here you have it!

The best source of news is as always Ignite 2022 Book of News but here’s my personal yay list.

The only cute photo opp at the venue 🌺

1. The hybrid world is here to stay

First let me set the tone for the event, quoting a blog post I wrote about Jeff Teper focus talk on Microsoft 365 and next-gen collaboration:

This is not the Ignite you are used to, this is a new hybrid world. In the hub which is the main conference area it’s constant buzzing with people networking and sharing ideas just as always. But with a big difference with a lot of cameras and the feeling of wow I’m in the middle of a talk show.
Jeff and Karuana on stage

But the conference was different, a lot of cameras and people reporting from different parts of the venue which was cool. It was less cool that all of the keynotes were pre-recorder, a little bit sad when flying from Stockholm to Seattle but Microsoft is as new on the hybrid as the rest of us🤷🏻‍♀️.

For modern work hybrid work really felt like the theme during the two days, a lot of announcements to help hybrid work and a lot of focus in the keynotes. More about the features soon but first I want to discuss the phrase productivity paranoia which was something interesting I’ve never heard of. Basically what it means is that we can see that we are working a lot but still leaders don’t think we are. This number from the latest Microsoft Work Trend Index speaks clearly and it’s something that needs to end.

Employees are productive but the leaders don't trust them

I think it is crucial to offer us who want it hybrid or we will find others that will. But enough on this and on to the news 💫.

2. News for Microsoft Teams

Let’s start with Microsoft Teams!

Teams Premium

Teams Premium is a new part of Microsoft Teams that will give customers the possibility to enhance their Microsoft Teams environment one notch extra with features like meeting templates/guides, new security features, custom branding and a smart AI meeting summary with tasks, chapters, personalized timeline markers and smart transcript. Sound really cool! As Jared Spataro said during his keynote – the best meeting is the one you didn’t attend. Teams Premium will make that happen.

Read more here. Will be generally available starting in February 2023.

New design for channels

Teams and channels have been around now for some time and it was time for a update in how channels look (and functions). The new design will move new conversations to the top, a banner will be added, you can pop-out channel threads, give you different post types e.g. A lot of things to make teamwork easier.

New design for channels

Read more here and here. Will be in private preview this year.

Expanded reactions

Finally we can express all 800+ different kinds of emotions to a post 😝. Now it’s more important than ever with setting meeting etiquette for you and your team. But it’s fun!!

More reactions!

Read more here and here. Will be in general availability in November.

Chat in Outlook

It is time to leave Outlook and start living in Microsoft Teams, Microsoft agrees and are constantly pushing us to the new way of working. One change for this is moving the chat in Microsoft Teams to Outlook as well, open an email and write a chat instead of email. Then after a while just skip the email!

Chat from Outlook

Read more here. Available now!

3. Microsoft Places, work hours and location in Outlook

Coming back to what I mentioned in the beginning of my post hybrid is really the future and Microsoft is building for that. One big new exciting news that was announced during Ignite was Microsoft Places. Microsoft Places will be the new connected workspace platform to make hybrid pleasurable and modernize our workplace by making you spaces into places 😍.

In summary Microsoft Places will make it possible for you to see where people are working from whether it’s from home or a specific desk, it can facilitate spontaneous meet-ups and also give you the insights leaders need on how the office is utilized.

Set where you are working from in Microsoft Places

Read more here. Will be available in 2023.

Another thing that will be available in a nearer future is the possibility to set up working hours and location in Outlook – everything to make it easier for each other. Teammates can view others’ work location when using the Scheduling Assistant in Outlook, in the People Card in Microsoft Teams, or when opening a person’s contact card.

Work hours and location in Outlook

Read more here.

4. A little mix 🙌🏻

I will end with a little mix of fun announcements that excite me.

Microsoft Loop app and enhanced usage

Some time has past since Microsoft Loop was announced and I’m still waiting for it to bring value, soon it’s getting closer since the app is finally starting to be available in preview.

Microsoft Loop app

It was also announced that Loop components will be available in Word for the Web and Microsoft Whiteboard. Time to make Loop a part of my daily work 😇.

Read more here. The app will be available in public preview in the beginning of next year, the possibility to use Loop components in Word and Whiteboard will be in the end year.

Edge Workspaces

I love tabs, I love teamwork and now with Edge Workspaces we have a magic combination where you can share a set of tabs with the teams you are working with

Workspaces in Edge

Read more here. In enterprise public preview now, learn more here.

Set Quiet hours on org-level

I love quiet hours and is the biggest fan but sometimes it makes me sad that people aren’t using it and complain about notifications. But with new controls coming in Microsoft Endpoint Manager IT admins will be able to create mute polices on an org-level. Amazing! Help everyone to be off after work ❤️. Read more here.

Microsoft Designer

A hot new bombshell has entered the villa – Microsoft Designer. It’s a graphic design app in Microsoft 365 that will help you to create beautiful social media posts, graphics, invitations e.g. in a flash of a second. With the help of AI amazing content will be created based on your dream.

New sexy Microsoft Designer

Read more here. Join the waitlist here.

Microsoft Syntex

I know this should probably have been it’s own point here in my list but I’ll only do a tiny overview. SharePoint Syntex is now Microsoft Syntex and this is the future of modern work. If hybrid is one part the other one is making AI do the boring things 😏. Syntex is all about making AI do work to free up time for humans.

Some of the features that are coming with Syntex is digital signatures, automatic translation of files, metadata extraction from files and create summaries of files. Where we are now is only the beginning.

Automatic file translation with Syntex

Read more here. Microsoft Syntex is available now, read here for more info.

The new Microsoft 365 app

The Office app is becoming the Microsoft 365 app, I’ve written a post: The new Office app and I use almost daily. And yes I’ll honest I didn’t know it was an app on the computer as well but know that I know I’ll start using it! It is but in a smart app now soon with added functionality such as a feed for your day.

Office app i turning into M365 app

Read more here. The changes will start rolling out in November for the computer app and next year for the mobile app.

5. Community

I want to end with whole point of it – community. It is really clear Microsoft thinks their community is important with the new initiatives. The Microsoft Community Hub (now in preview!), which will act as the front door for everything Microsoft communities has to offer, and you can find all your community needs in one place. In addition to that, there is the community developed that will act as a hub for all free technical training events around the world!

I also hade the opportunity to be an part of Expert Meet-up: Microsoft Teams as an expert at Microsoft Ignite. Me and Ulrika Hedlund had a little area with a whiteboard and lots of engaging conversations with the community 🥰. I hope they keep this format!


In summary a lot of exciting news, the IRL conference in Seattle was so-so but meeting the community was amazing as always and it was 10/10 to go Seattle with Simon and Ola 😍.

All images, well not the ones on my face ha-ha, are borrowed from Microsoft.


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