Microsoft Personalizes Office Delve, Revamps

Office Delve now allows users to further customize their profile. Meanwhile, Webmail gets a major makeover.

Microsoft Office Delve,

In the coming weeks, Office Delve users will be able to further personalize their profiles, courtesy of a new Office 365 update. Launched in 2014, the cloud-powered Delve app uses the company's machine-learning technology to surface Office content and communications that relate to a user's role and responsibilities within an organization.

The latest release builds on the company's efforts to turn Office Delve into a more personal experience for users, according to Nick Robinson, senior product marketing manager for Microsoft Office 365.

"The new profile page gives you a place to learn more about your colleagues, providing their contact information, a photo, who they work for and a summary of their experience and expertise, as well as discover their recent activity and a quick glimpse of what they are working on," stated Robinson in a Feb. 16 announcement. "The profile is actionable, too. You can start a Skype chat, call or email to a colleague right from their profile page."

Taking a cue from popular social media platforms, Delve now offers more personalization options that allow users to tweak the look of the app by uploading a profile photo, adding a background image and editing the expertise filed. More than just window dressing, the new options enhance collaboration, according to Robinson.

"Up-to-date profiles make it easier for others to find out about you and help you when you are looking for information," he continued. "From your profile, you can also quickly and easily get back to your documents, as well as see documents your most frequent contacts are working on."

Microsoft plans to complete the update's rollout to all eligible Office 365 customers by the second quarter. Revamp Goes Live

In other Office user experience news, Microsoft announced today that the new is out of beta. Further narrowing the gap between itself and the Outlook mobile and desktop apps, the Web-based email client borrows several time-saving perks offered in Office 365, Javier Soltero, corporate vice president of Microsoft Outlook, wrote in a Feb. 17 blog post.

"Recently added features, like the ability to automatically add flight confirmations to your calendar to stay on top of your travel schedule and a smarter address book that understands who you talk to the most, are now available in the new," he wrote. Skype integration has been improved and Microsoft is currently working on porting the Skype call scheduling feature found in the Android and iOS versions of the communications software.

The update also boasts improved integration between Outlook apps and the Webmail service. "Setting Automatic Replies, toggling flags and syncing categories, inbox rules and drafts are now available, providing a great Outlook experience whether you prefer to work in an app or on the Web," stated Soltero. "Outlook on Windows now supports email aliases, while Outlook for Mac can now sync calendar and contact information."

The new also sets the stage for more interactive experiences and third-party integrations. GIPHY, the popular online repository pf animated GIFs, is now an Outlook add-in partner. Also new are Yelp and Wunderlist, the to-do app that Microsoft acquired in June.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...