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SharePoint Roadmap Pitstop: April 2024

Ahh, Welcome to Q4 – for those of us that follow the fiscal. April isn’t just for rain showers. It’s a month to keep cranking and refining productivity and collaboration in Microsoft 365.

April 2024 brought some great new offerings: SharePoint brand center (Preview) with custom fonts support, Search from Viva Connections in Teams mobile, SharePoint: New feedback button, New Planner (GA), SharePoint eSignature + Approvals, SharePoint pages: New heading support, Clipchamp: Silence Removal, Microsoft Loop: Guest Sharing, and more. Details and screenshots below, including our audible companion: The Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop: April 2024 podcast episode – all to help answer, “What’s rolling out now for SharePoint and related technologies into Microsoft 365?”

In the podcast episode, we share some audio from the recent New Planner events on April 3rd and 4th – their launch event and AMA. You’ll hear Howard Crow (Partner GPM) talking about how the Planner team approaches infusing AI into your planning cycles, plus a great Planner + Copilot question from the AMA audience, answered by Holly Pollock (Principal Product manager).

All features listed below began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Microsoft 365 as of April 2024 (possibly early May 2024). 

Inform and engage with dynamic employee experiences

Build your intelligent intranet on SharePoint in Microsoft 365 and get the benefits of investing in business outcomes – reducing IT and development costs, increasing business speed and agility, and up-leveling the dynamic, personalized, and welcoming nature of your intranet.

SharePoint brand center (Preview) + custom fonts support

We’re introducing new SharePoint branding capabilities to improve consistency across your sites and pages. The SharePoint brand center gives you a centralized branding management application to empower your brand managers and designer advocates to work with your brand assets — to further customize SharePoint and Viva Connections.

Adding a custom font to the SharePoint brand center in Microsoft 365.Adding a custom font to the SharePoint brand center in Microsoft 365.

To enable the new brand center the global administrator will need to perform a set of simple steps in the Microsoft 365 admin center to create/activate the Brand center app.

And first to come to brand center is the ability to add and use custom fonts. This means you can use custom fonts within both SharePoint and Viva Connections Desktop experience. Newly added font packages appear for use within the Change the Look edit pane.

Viva Connections in Teams: Search your intranet in Microsoft Teams on iOS and Android tablets

You no longer need to use a different app, or a separate browser, to search your intranet. Search is such a core, expected capability – especially when it’s the front door to your coverall employee experience – to find document, conversations, people – all the goodness of your intranet while on the go. Mobile first means fewer compromises. So go ahead, search your intranet from your device.

SharePoint in Microsoft 365: New feedback button

We’re introducing a feedback button for people to submit compliments, problems, or suggestions about SharePoint features and functionality. The feedback icon – a person with a square search bubble – will be visible on SharePoint sites in the upper-right area, near the Settings icon and your profile.

Once you pop open the “Submit feedback to SharePoint engineering” pane, click on one of the three buttons to classify your feedback: “Give a compliment” | “Report a problem” | “Make a suggestion.” The team will review all feedback submitted by customers to improve products and troubleshoot product issues.

Click the Feedback button to let the SharePoint team know what you like and what you'd like to see change in the future.Click the Feedback button to let the SharePoint team know what you like and what you’d like to see change in the future.

A note: Feedback collection is on by default and can be turned off using the Cloud Policy service for Microsoft 365 in the Microsoft 365 Apps admin center. It takes a village – and we thank you in advance for letting us know what you like and what you feel we could do better or different in the future.

Teamwork updates across SharePoint team sites, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams

Microsoft 365 is designed to be a universal toolkit for teamwork – to give you the right tools for the right task, along with common services to help you seamlessly work across applications. SharePoint is the intelligent content service that powers teamwork – to better collaborate on proposals, projects, and campaigns throughout your organization – with integration across Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, Yammer, Stream, Planner and much more.

Microsoft Planner GA (April 3rd, 2024) – Short summary

The new Microsoft Planner journey is off and running. It starts in Teams – and it started (GA) on April 3rd, 2024. The new Planner brings together the simplicity of Microsoft To Do, the collaboration of Microsoft Planner, the power of Microsoft Project for the web — all into a simple, familiar experience. It’s streamlined and faster, brings all your tasks in one place, brings together all your lists, plans and projects, and now you can Pin your favorite plans.

The new Planner app in Microsoft Teams - all your tasks in one place.The new Planner app in Microsoft Teams – all your tasks in one place.

The new Planner is designed to help Ideate with the team – Manage your career goals – Plan that team sprint – and keep track of all the moving parts and deadlines of a product release.

A few top-level resources to learn more:

Microsoft SharePoint eSignature: Creators and recipients can view, track, and sign requests in the Approvals app in Teams

Not only can you send a document out for an e-signature, but you can also track the requests in the Approvals app in Microsoft Teams. People get notified about new requests, will be updated about ongoing requests, and will be able to initiate signing the document all within their flow of work in Microsoft Teams.

SharePoint pages: New heading level options for web parts

It’s time to let page authors choose heading levels – often within the Text web part – to define information hierarchy. This is similar to how people use Microsoft Word to apply a numbering scheme to the headings in documents (Heading 1, Heading 2, and so on).

Choose from various headings within the SharePoint Text web part - to better organize the hierarchy of your written communications.Choose from various headings within the SharePoint Text web part – to better organize the hierarchy of your written communications.

Now you can apply a numbering scheme to the headings for your SharePoint pages. And, no matter where you use the headings on your page, they will have the same consistent look every time, and again add a level of hierarchy to the flow of information.

Related technology

Microsoft Clipchamp: Remove pauses and silences in your videos

Microsoft Clipchamp is introducing a new smart AI-powered feature called Silence Removal that automatically finds and deletes unwanted silences and pauses longer than 3 seconds in video and audio. The feature is currently free to use in preview and will be available as part of a premium subscription after the preview.

The trim & tidy button helps show silences or pauses on your timeline.The trim & tidy button helps show silences or pauses on your timeline.

Microsoft Loop: Guest Sharing

Microsoft Loop now allows business-to-business (B2B) guest sharing for workspaces, pages, and components – subject to your preferred administrator policy. It’s been a highly-requested feature, and it’s great to see the SharePoint content services platform take an existing capability and apply it in the right way for a new app that sits on top of its storage platform.

The sharing admin controls within the SharePoint admin center now apply to Loop components to allow guest sharing.The sharing admin controls within the SharePoint admin center now apply to Loop components to allow guest sharing.

So, get Loop’y with your guests. This new and powerful canvas allows you to stay in sync across applications — enabling teams to think, plan, and create together — inclusive of external people that you ‘loop in.’

A future note: Sensitivity labels for Loop workspaces, pages, and components will begin rolling out in the first half of 2024. A sign of continued Loop innovation on top of SharePoint.

Loop components in OneNote

You can create or insert Loop components into your OneNote notebook. With Loop components in OneNote, users can bring unstructured, collaborative content from Loop components in Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Outlook into OneNote notebooks – extending the real-time collaboration and sharing. You, too, can augment and recall collaborative notes within the familiar workflow of OneNote, enabling tasks to be completed more efficiently.

A Task list Loop component on a OneNote notebook page.A Task list Loop component on a OneNote notebook page.

It’s a nice balance of structured, unchanging content blended with content that may shift and change by design.

OneNote is now available for the Apple Vision Pro

We have worked closely with Apple for many years to bring these experiences to iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, with Apple Vision Pro, OneNote will make use of the infinite canvas of spatial computing and can appear side-by-side with other great Microsoft apps like Word, Excel, and Teams at any scale for incredible multitasking.

Working with OneNote in the Apple Vision Pro spatial computing experience.Working with OneNote in the Apple Vision Pro spatial computing experience.

OneNote for Apple Vision Pro is a native app. You can plan trips, practice daily habits, and create/edit your task list, all in spatial reality – the OneNote experience on the Apple Vision Pro helps you stay productive, no matter where you are.

Brainstorm your next big idea with mind maps in Visio for the web

It’s time to organize your thoughts and find clarity. Mind maps help you brainstorm and capture ideas in one place. Using a mind map, you start with a single central node or idea, then expand it by adding additional nodes as you explore different aspects and details. As you continue to brainstorm, you can easily modify the mind map by adding new nodes or removing redundant ones—without disrupting the visual fidelity of the diagram. 

Working with a Mind Map in Microsoft Visio.Working with a Mind Map in Microsoft Visio.

Mind Maps are currently rolling out to Visio for the for people with a Visio Plan 1 or Visio Plan 2 license.

Calling all Microsoft 365 developers… two things for you this month

Dev item #1: The Microsoft Build 2024 session catalog (at least a partial one) is now live.

If you awake asking “How will AI shape your future?” Then Build is for you. And this year it’s packed with lots of AI, Copilot, and a dash of Windows on Arm. Microsoft Build is May 21-24, 2024 | Seattle and online. Join in the Build action to grow your skills in topics like building copilots, generative AI, securing applications, learning more about cloud platforms, low-code, all to unleash your creativity with the power of AI. All to answer your morning question, “How will AI shape my future?”

Main home page of the Microsoft Build event website.Main home page of the Microsoft Build event website.

Dev item #2: The PnP community site got as nice, big makeover – and not only is it pretty, it’s got loads of content: Blogs, Community calls, guidance, samples & solutions, SDK, tools, and the Microsoft 365 & Power Platform Community initiative coordinators (these cool profile cards so you see some of the folks behind it all. 

Top of the newly refreshed Microsoft 365 & Power Platform Community site.Top of the newly refreshed Microsoft 365 & Power Platform Community site.

Officially it’s the Microsoft 365 & Power Platform Community site where you learn from others how to build apps on Microsoft 365 & Power Platform. AKA, don’t reinvent the wheel. And they’ve stamped it with their main motto: “Sharing is caring” — and they care to share, so I’m sharing their URL: Go to https://aka.ms/Community/Home which resolves to https://pnp.github.io/ – you decide which is easier to remember – all I’ll say is that it’s worth going to.

May 2024 teasers

Psst, still here? Still scrolling the page looking for more roadmap goodness? If so, here is a few teasers of what’s to come to production next month…

  • Teaser #1: SharePoint Premium: New autofill columns [Roadmap ID: 389375
  • Teaser #2: SharePoint + Stream: New video page templates [Roadmap ID: 124823]

… shhh, tell everyone.

Helpful, ongoing change management resources

  • Follow me to catch news and interesting SharePoint things: @mkashman; warning, occasional bad puns may fly in a tweet or two here and there.

Thanks for tuning in and/or reading this episode/blog of the Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop – April 2024. We are open to your feedback in comments below to hear how both the Roadmap Pitstop podcast episodes and blogs can be improved over time.

Engage with us. Ask those questions that haunt you. Push us where you want and need to get the best information and insights. We are here to put both our and your best change management foot forward.

Stay safe out there on the road’map ahead. And thanks for listening and reading.

Thanks for your time,

Mark Kashman – senior product manager (SharePoint/Lists) | Microsoft)

The Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop - April 2024 graphic showing some of the highlighted release features.The Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop – April 2024 graphic showing some of the highlighted release features.

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