It took two years, but Microsoft is at last ready to let everyday users try its latest take on collaborative work. The company is releasing its Loop app in public preview form on the web, Android and iOS. As shown back in 2021, this lets people work on projects with live-updating components that can drop into Microsoft 365 apps like Word and Outlook. You can place a table in a Word document that updates as users change it, for instance.
Loop also lets you assign tasks (synced with Planner and To Do), comment, react, share project pages and track progress. On your phone, you can contribute photos if something inspires you while you're away from your computer.
As you might imagine, Microsoft is squeezing AI into Loop. Microsoft 365 Copilot will offer AI suggestions to help kickstart your efforts. You can ask the Copilot to help you create a mission statement, or summarize the content of a workspace document.
You'll need a work account to try the mobile apps today, but anyone can use Loop on the web. Personal support for mobile is "coming soon," Microsoft says. While Copilot is limited to a private test, it should be available in the months ahead.
Like we said at the Loop reveal, this isn't Google Wave redux. It's more of an attempt to unify and sync collaborative efforts in an era where emoji are commonplace and people thrive on apps like Asana (for task tracking) and Slack (for chat). Microsoft's challenge is simply getting people to use its approach. This won't help those loyal to Google's productivity suite, of course, but Microsoft will also have to persuade users that Loop can replace the gaggle of collaborative apps they might already use.