Microsoft has this week announced changes to Office.com and the Office 365 app launcher. Specifically, the two services have now been combined into a single experience. In other words, the same set of apps are now displayed on Office.com and Office 365 app launcher.
This change makes sense because Office.com is already the central hub for Office 365 users. If you're unfamiliar with the online portal, it allows users to access the apps they use more easily. In the recommended section, Microsoft leverages AI to surface the files that are likely to be most relevant to the user.
In the Discover section, users can see shared files that are being used by colleague, including some that are not familiar.
Then there is the Office 365 app launcher, while is part of Office.com. As the name suggests, this launcher makes it easier to switch between Office 365 apps.
Microsoft says the launcher and Office.com are now one and the same. Furthermore, the company announced the following changes to the way pinned apps work.
- “Microsoft now offers controls in the Azure Active Directory portal that enable admins to pin up to three apps to Office.com and the app launcher. Any app added by an admin can be unpinned by the user at any time.
- Users need not manually pin apps to the app launcher. The system now automatically pins apps for you based on usage. Any app added automatically can be unpinned at any time.
- In the previous experience, apps were removed after they were unused for a certain period of time. In the updated experience, apps will remain until manually unpinned.”
Elsewhere, Microsoft has introduced a new tool for admins to group apps together and customize the view in the Office 365 gallery.