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News from and about MadWolf Technologies
Joel Rollins

Microsoft 365: What's new?

Microsoft Teams Breakout Room Timers

Microsoft Teams has several features on the way that will improve breakout sessions. Breakout sessions are relatively new within Teams. They let you split off from a main meeting into multiple submeetings. Soon, you'll be able to set timers for breakout rooms, assign people to rooms in a way that will persist between sessions, and be able to move people between open rooms.
Improve your Presentation Skills with PowerPoint Presenter Coach
Originally announced at Ignite 2021, Microsoft has now announced that PowerPoint Presenter Coach is now available on all platforms, on the web, Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
Presenter Coach leverages AI to help anyone who just want to practice a speech. Presenter Coach provides users with feedback on their pace, use of monotone pitch, use of filler words, poor grammar, lack of originality, use of sensitive phrases, and more while they rehearse their presentations. At the end of each rehearsal, Presenter Coach users receive a Summary Report highlighting the key pieces of feedback to help them become even better, more confident presenters.  Microsoft has provided a template to help users get started.
Since the Presenter Coach beta, 3 new critiques have been added, These include:
  1. Body Language – This new capability leverages your video camera to give you feedback on your body language. When you are presenting virtually, it is important to ensure that your audience has a clear view of your face, that you maintain your glance towards your audience, and ensure you have left appropriate distance between you and your camera to deliver an engaging presentation.
  2. Repetitive language - When you speak, you may use words and phrases repetitively without being aware of them. You may not notice it, but your audience may catch on and find it distracting. Presenter Coach can help you identify these words and phrases to avoid overusing them and keep your audience more engaged throughout your presentation.
  2. Pronunciation - Presenter Coach can advise you about the correct pronunciation of words you speak throughout your rehearsal. When Presenter Coach perceives that you may have mispronounced a word, it will display the word(s) and provide an experience that helps you practice pronouncing the word correctly. You’ll be able to listen to a recorded pronunciation guide of the word as many times as you’d like.

Microsoft Teams Now Supports the MacBook Touch Bar

Microsoft Initially announced back in late 2020 that Teams support for the Mac Touch Bar was coming.  Now the feature has rolled out and is generally available
Similar to the support found in Microsoft 365, Teams will take advantage of the adaptable row of functions keys

Microsoft Power Fx: Low-Code Programming Language
At Microsoft Ignite 2021 Microsoft Power Fx was officially introduced as an open source formula language for low code that’s based on Microsoft Excel
Power Fx’s 3 key features:
  1. Power Fx is open source. Microsoft has embraced the pace of open innovation that has accelerated the adoption of languages like C# and Typescript. With Power Fx, Microsoft now bringing that same open approach to the low code world. Microsoft will open-source Power Fx, making the language available for open contribution by the broader community on GitHub.
  2. Power Fx is based on Microsoft Excel. Using formulas that are already familiar to hundreds of millions of users, Power Fx allows a broad range of people to bring skills they already know to low code solutions. Power Fx becomes a common ground for business users and professional developers alike to express logic and solve problems.
  3. Power Fx is built for low code. Power Fx is already the foundation of the Microsoft Power Apps canvas. Microsoft will soon extend its use across Power Platform to Microsoft Dataverse, Microsoft Power Automate, Microsoft Power Virtual Agents, and beyond, making it even easier for everyone to get started with low code tools.

Microsoft Viva Learning
With Viva Learning, employees can easily discover and share everything from training courses to microlearning content. And managers get the tools they need to assign learning and to track the completion of courses to help foster a learning culture. Viva Learning creates a central hub for learning in Teams, with AI that recommends the right content at the right time. It aggregates content from LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, your organization’s own custom content, and trainings from leading content providers like Skillsoft, Coursera, Pluralsight, and edX. Viva Learning also works with leading learning-management systems.
Viva Learning will enter public preview in April 2021

Viva Insights
Viva Insights gives individuals, managers, and leaders personalized and actionable privacy-protected insights that help everyone in an organization thrive. It brings new personal wellbeing experiences, insights, and recommended actions from Workplace Analytics and MyAnalytics into the flow of people’s work in Microsoft Teams.
Accessed in Microsoft Teams, Viva Insights for individuals help employees stay connected with their colleagues and protect time for regular breaks, focused work, and learning. Experiences we announced last summer, like virtual commute and integration with Headspace, kickstarted our work here. They will now be part of Microsoft Viva and will start rolling out in the coming months.
Viva Connections
Accessed in Microsoft Teams, Viva Connections (formerly Teams Home Sites) provides a single-entry point for employee engagement and internal communications.  This will be a new gateway to a company’s digital workplace.
Viva Connections is built on Microsoft 365 capabilities like SharePoint to provide a curated and branded employee destination. The content can also be customized for specific roles within the company so that they have a comprehensive view of just the resources they need.