Tech giant Microsoft introduces Loop, a new office collaboration app. Microsoft Loop combines elements of documents, spreadsheets, and presentation apps in a single collaborative space.
According to TechCrunch, Loop is a new app and concept that takes the Fluid framework, which provides developers with flexible components to mix and match in order to create real-time editing-based applications, to create a new experience for users to collaborate on documents.
Despite being a new app, Microsoft has been paving the way for Loop for sometime with its Fluid Framework. The Fluid Framework is a software that was first demonstrated by Microsoft in the year 2019. It removes barriers between Microsoft 365 applications, and replaces the concept of a ‘document’ with a cloud address for real-time collaboration.
Microsoft Loop Components
The Fluid components are now called “Loops” or “Loop Components”, and are one of the three key elements of the new Loop app. Loop components have been dubbed by Microsoft as “atomic units of productivity that help you collaborate and get your work done in the flow of your work”.
The components are the simple items like tables, lists, notes, or complex content such as customer sales opportunity grabbed from Microsoft Dynamics 365. Few additional Loop components are also being added and these are: voting table for teams, status tracker for gathering team information, tracking the progress of projects, and providing the latest status of a project.
“The technology is effectively Microsoft’s vision for the future of Office, breaking down the rigid barriers between different types of file format, allowing content to be deconstructed into modular components that can easily be shared between applications, making it easier to create content collaboratively,” said Angela Ashenden, principal analyst at CCS Insight.
Microsoft has not yet talked about licensing or pricing for the standalone Loop app, but one of the spokespersons said that it will have more to share in 2022 when it rolls out.
Loop Launch is a bold move by Microsoft
“The launch of Loop is a bold move by Microsoft,” said Raúl Castañón, senior analyst at 451 Research, a division of S&P Global Market Intelligence. “Word processors are long overdue for a new approach.”
Castañón sees the Loop app as complementary to, rather than a replacement for, traditional document-editing applications. “Rather, it is a tool that is intended for use cases that word processors were not designed for, with capabilities for real-time and asynchronous collaboration, integration to systems of record, and workflow automation,” he said.
One thing Wave never had and is apparently a core feature of Loop is that Loop tracks your cursor position in real time, the report said.