Contemporary Voice Features Added to Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Office offers a managing software system for personal information- Microsoft Outlook. It is made available to users around the world as a part of the Microsoft Office suite, which is a set of products commonly used for productivity tasks.

These tasks are inclusive of a word processing program, a presentation program, a spreadsheet program, an email service program, and a lot more.

The intensity of digitization in workers’ daily life has increased rapidly. Emails have played an important part in this growth. The email counts written and delivered to commercial/educational customers this year have gone up with over 40% of its share in comparison to the same time last year, before the pandemic struck.

This read will be focusing on the Microsoft Office suite i.e. office.com/setup and its apps along with Microsoft Outlook and their all-new voice features that were added for the current working scenarios amidst the pandemic or in the aftermath.

Microsoft Office Suite and Products

Microsoft Office is compatible with operating systems like Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, and some of these programs are even available for phones and tablets with operating systems like Google’s Android, Microsoft Windows 10 Mobile system and iOS.

People are recommended access to Microsoft Office as a single package, rather than making separate program purchases. Using Microsoft Office on computers and monthly/annual subscriptions to Office 365 (cloud-based system) are two existing and effective ways to get these software services.

Multiple users can now edit and work on the same files and documents in one place and at the same time, which makes collaboration and working together (for workers) way more facile than it ever was. Microsoft Office Suite is a name given to Microsoft’s collection of productivity software.

The Office suite packages consist of a word processing tool (MS Word), a spreadsheet tool (MS Excel), interactive presentation tool (MS PowerPoint), an email and calendar management tool (MS Outlook), database management tool (MS Access), and a note-making application tool (MS OneNote).

Walking You Through Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook has the primary service of sending out and receiving emails among others. It also works wonders in managing several personal data, inclusive of calendar appointments or schedules and other alike tasks, contacts, entries and notes.

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However, it isn’t free of cost- you will have to purchase it or pay for a monthly/annual subscription to use it.

Several different terms are used by different individuals to refer to Microsoft Outlook, which might prove to be a little baffling even though it is the only email and calendar management tool by the company.

Enlisted are a few terms that you might hear referring to this exact program or tool so that there’s no confusion:

  • Microsoft Email
  • Outlook Online
  • Outlook 365
  • Microsoft Office Email
  • Outlook Express
  • Outlook Hotmail

The Current Work Culture

When the pandemic hit us, it was all new. Nobody knew what was to come and how things would be carried on from there. But, with an entire year into it, people have been, slowly, adjusting to life with the newly changed lifestyle.

Public gatherings were no longer a safe possibility, travel plans got cancelled, huge layoffs were put in motion, relationships were affected, working from home was the new trend, and so many other things changed from the previous and usual ways.

Work from home was a possibility only because we had access to the most world-transforming technology invention- the Internet. And with that, according to Microsoft reports, there was rapid growth in tasks and operations getting done online

And Microsoft Office suite, especially Microsoft Outlook, had a growth rate of more than 40%.

New Added Features to Outlook

Now, to make virtual offices a better experience, the company added three exclusive features to Outlook mobile (the mobile application for Microsoft Outlook). These features were recently launched for devices compatible with iOS, and they have been working towards launching them for Android as well. Let’s see what they are:

Voice-enabled meeting schedules

Let’s say you’re out late with your friends or family, or you’ve been working for very long hours, and you forgot to schedule a meeting that was critical for your work tasks the next day. This is the best feature that will prove to be effective in these situations. Ask Cortana (Microsoft’s virtual assistant) to help you with scheduling the meetings, using your voice. Cortana incorporates the usage of AI to find the correct files, connecting to the correct individuals and making calendar adjustments.

Voice-enabled natural language search

You can look for and get into sent or received emails using voice commands. For instance, let’s say you don’t remember the date or subject of the email so, you use your voice by providing them with the name or content of the files attached, recipient or sender’s name, etc. And you won’t have to go through several similar emails.

Voice-enabled dictations for emails

There were times when, as students, dictation of paragraphs, questions, etc., was the worst thing, right?

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Well, it is also true that dictating is way more fun and less time-consuming than being dictated. Teachers never thought of adjusting their dictating pace to match the students’ speed of writing, whereas students struggle to keep up with the teachers. You get the idea, right?

The voice feature gives you a direct gateway to use voice commands to draft and write emails. You can use your voice to dictate an email and Outlook Mobile (iOS) will do the typing. Yes, you can respond to and start email conversations with just your voice.

CONCLUSION

Microsoft reports helped the company monitor the rising online tasks and increased virtual intensity. The above read gives us an insight on the basics of Microsoft Office services (or product), along with details on Microsoft Outlook. And then it moves to the newly added voice features to Outlook mobile on iOS (soon to be launched on Android) to make things easier, better, and extremely efficient.

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