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Microsoft has today announced an important new feature for Office 365. The company has overhauled the app launcher that will offer customers a more personalized experience. Users will now be able to reach their most frequented apps more easily.

Office 365 will get its new app launcher over the next couple of months. The key change in the launcher is a fresh design. However, Microsoft points out apps will still be available on the launcher. What apps appear will depend on which license a subscriber has.

One of the biggest changes in the Office 365 launcher is that it now focuses on personalized applications of individual users. This means users can see the apps that are most relevant to them.

It is worth mentioning that Microsoft delivered a redesign of the app launcher almost exactly a year ago. Either the company cannot match its vision with reality, or this is proof Microsoft continues to listen to customer feedback?

Either way, Microsoft explains some aspects of the new Office 365 app launcher. For example, the company says apps will now open in a different tab in a browser.

Microsoft also says customers can still pin custom tiles to the launcher:

  • Admins will continue to have the ability to add custom tiles to share line-of-business (LOB) apps, sites, and URLs with their organization. However, they will only show in the main view if pinned by an end-user.
  • The All view is optimized for search and there’s a new grouping at the top of this view called Admin selected apps for admin custom tiles so that users can easily discover them.

Office 365 Putting Pressure on OEMs

Last month, we reported on a prediction that Microsoft expansion of Office 365 features is pressurizing companies who build their solutions from Microsoft’s software:

Speaking to Computing, Tony Pepper, CEO of Egress was complimentary about Microsoft. However, he warned the company against stifling its partners.

Speaking specifically about Office 365, Pepper says Microsoft is adept at “plugging the gaps”. He means the company can bring functionality and services without stepping on what is offered by partners and OEMs.