Microsoft is Making Employees Lazy

With a wide range of Microsoft Office products, Loop enables a multi-faceted approach where all products can be used at a single destination.
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Gone are the days of endless surfing on the internet, researching, brainstorming ideas, creating presentations, and more. With the latest AI tools, teams are no longer confined to tedious and repetitive tasks. Instead, they can now kick back, relax, and let the machines take over. From automating workflows to improving productivity, AI-powered tools are revolutionising the way we work and allowing us more time to focus on the things that matter most.

With a string of announcements over the last two weeks, Microsoft’s undying focus on enterprise management is growing. In healthcare, Microsoft along with Nuance launched DAX Express, an AI-automated clinical documentation application which employs GPT-4. Microsoft then launches GPT-4 in Azure OpenAI. The company also announced Bing Image Creator, an AI visual tool to Bing. Alongside these announcements, Microsoft also announced GitHub CopilotX, which brings GPT-4 capabilities to GitHub. 

Microsoft accelerated its progress in the workspace sector with the announcement of Copilot for Microsoft 365 suite and Microsoft Loop. 

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Recently, Microsoft introduced Microsoft Loop, a workspace application for managing tasks and projects and integrating Office Products, and opened this for public preview. This development comes after it had made initial announcements of this product in November 2021. 

Microsoft Loop allows users to collaborate and work together on multiple products such as docs, presentations, excel, videos, planners, and many more in one place. Furthermore, Microsoft will also be integrating its AI Copilot system into Loop. With Copilot, LLMs will be used to boost the functions of productivity tools. 

With a wide range of Microsoft Office products, Loop enables a multi-faceted approach where all products can be used at a single destination. For example, if any content on a Loop page is converted into a component, it can then be included in any of the Microsoft products including 365, Teams Chat, Outlook, Whiteboard, and more. 

Source: Microsoft Loop

Integrating components like projects, pages, and dashboard-like workspaces, Microsoft Loop works on a real-time basis. Up to 50 users can edit a workspace simultaneously. The application can also search and recommend relevant documents. Like a dynamic workspace, Loop can customise and suggest relevant additions to the workspace while also helping with organising content into pages. 

But, one question remains—does this propel Microsoft past all of its competitors to gain the numero uno position when it comes to workspace applications for enterprises? If so, what is the big change it is going to bring? 

Not the Only Player

However, Microsoft is not the only player that has focused on workspace management applications. Its arch rival, Google Workspace, has also been working on continuous improvements. Looking at the editing capabilities, up to 50 people can edit a Google docs sheet and up to 200 users can view the file. Google recently announced that generative AI will be integrated onto Workspaces. This will help automate tasks and assist with writing job descriptions, resumes, articles, and more. It can also summarise to give full project briefs solely based on email conversations. 

However, Google Workspace does not offer a product where all of its workspace products are integrated on one platform, unlike Loop. As a single product, Loop can be considered as the closest competitor to Notion

Notion is a productivity workspace management tool that encompasses all the functions that Loop has. Released in 2015, Notion recorded over 30 million users as of December 2022. Microsoft Office has over 345 million users. The biggest advantage Loop has over Notion is that, as Microsoft Office subscribers, Loop is offered as a part of its suite and all the applications can be used in tandem. Whereas, Notion requires a separate subscription and plugins to integrate with other applications. 

Zoho Workplace is another player that has been providing applications for enterprises. They are even working towards integrating generative AI, as an effort to simplify work and enhance employees’ productivity.  

Where is it headed? 

Taking parallels to how workspace is evolving on the developer front—where Copilot’s success has led to the rise of large language models in different industries allowing developers to be aided with tools that help write, code and design—workspace management is also seeing a change. 

Introduction of AI in workspace management tools and workspace, in general, is shifting towards making tasks simpler and faster. Recent examples of how companies like Zoho and are implementing LLM-based models in their HR workspace shows how companies are shifting towards prioritising tasks that require attention and simplifying/automating tasks that are increasingly time consuming. 

Vandana Nair
As a rare blend of engineering, MBA, and journalism degree, Vandana Nair brings a unique combination of technical know-how, business acumen, and storytelling skills to the table. Her insatiable curiosity for all things startups, businesses, and AI technologies ensures that there's always a fresh and insightful perspective to her reporting.

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