Microsoft has unveiled several enhancements to Microsoft Search, its search engine for productivity applications under the Microsoft 365 suite. The improvements include a unified search experience, allowing users to obtain consistent results across different platforms such as Bing, SharePoint, and Microsoft 365.
New Search Features for Microsoft 365 Subscribers
For Microsoft 365 subscribers, Microsoft Search now offers new capabilities. It features a Messages vertical, enabling users to find Teams and Outlook messages within search results on both Microsoft365.com and Bing. Additionally, a Videos vertical has been introduced, allowing users to locate videos within their organization.
Another update for subscribers is related to file searches. If a Microsoft 365 subscriber searches for a file through Bing that is intended for their eyes only, the search engine will mark the file with a label indicating, “Only you can see this.” The file owner or those with the necessary permissions can directly view and manage file access through the “Who can see this?” option in the file action menu on the search results page.
Contextual Information and Search Usage Reports
Search results now provide context information for files sourced from within the user's organization. For instance, search results for a Word document will not only indicate when it was last modified and by whom but may also include convenient links for downloading or copying the file.
Furthermore, Microsoft has introduced search usage reports presumably to help organizations understand and optimize their employees' search behaviors, although details on these reports were not specified in the announcement.
In June, Microsoft brought Actionable Items to Search. With actionable items, users can command actions within the applications they are in. For example, if you start typing into the search box in Microsoft Word, the search will provide actions related to what you want to do.
If you're unfamiliar with Microsoft Search, it leverages the power of Microsoft Graph, the new search experience is like a universal search across Microsoft services. It provides the search for all core apps, including Bing, Office, Windows 101, and Microsoft Edge, Yammer, and SharePoint.