Microsoft Ignite: The Fluid Framework Gets Loopy

Posted on November 2, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft 365 with 19 Comments

The Fluid Framework is coming to life as Microsoft Loop, a new Microsoft 365 application that takes collaboration beyond the traditional document.

“Just like Teams transformed collaboration and productivity, Microsoft Loop is the next big breakthrough in Microsoft 365,” Microsoft corporate vice president Jared Spataro writes in the announcement post. “Microsoft Loop is a new app that combines a powerful and flexible canvas with portable components that move freely and stay in sync across applications—enabling teams to think, plan, and create together.”

Microsoft Loop appears to be a real-world implementation of technologies in the Fluid Framework, which the software giant announced at Build 2019. And it can perhaps be seen as “the first experiences powered by the Fluid Framework” that it promised at that time. That year, Microsoft discussed three core capabilities for this new platform: multi-person authoring, a componentized document model, and intelligent agents. And Loop appears to deliver on much of that, with its Loop components, Loop pages, and Loop workspaces.

Microsoft describes Loop components as “atomic units of productivity that help you collaborate and complete work right within chats and meetings, emails, documents, and more.” You can build your own Loop components or simply use the components that Microsoft provides, including a voting table, a status tracker, and more. Loop components are also coming to Outlook, Teams, and OneNote later this year, Microsoft says.

Loop pages, meanwhile, are canvases on which you can organize Loop components and other elements, like links, files, and other data. If you’re familiar with OneNote, a Loop page appears to look and work a bit like a note page.

Finally, Loop workspaces are shared spaces that let a team see and group items into a project. “Workspaces make it easy for you can catch up on what everyone is working on, react to others’ ideas, and track progress toward shared goals,” Microsoft notes.

If I understand the schedule, we’ll see Loop components for existing Microsoft 365 applications first, with the Loop app arriving afterward, and probably in 2022.

Tagged with , ,

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (19)

19 responses to “Microsoft Ignite: The Fluid Framework Gets Loopy”

  1. Chris_Kez

    Interesting stuff; the challenge is always figuring out how to best apply these tools to existing habits and workflows.

  2. jchampeau

    Of the two editions of OneNote that run on Windows, does anyone know which one will get this new functionality?

    • Paul Thurrott

      The app formerly known as OneNote 2016.

      • omen_20

        Loop makes me think of OneNote. It's odd that OneNote will get these components and then Loop will come out. Seems like the later should replace the former eventually.

  3. Mikael Koskinen

    Reminds me of Google Wave. We used to try to find some use cases for Wave but couldn't. Quite many things have changed since so interesting to see how this turns up.

  4. rmlounsbury

    It still feels a bit like Microsoft is headed towards cooking up some form of a Teams/Loop OS for a ChromeOS competitor. Stripped down with Edge has the browser and M365 powered apps controllable from Microsoft Intune without all of Windows' legacy.

    I would actually be interested in something like that for a lot of my users. Most don't necessarily need full-blown Windows.

  5. pungkuss

    Wow, clone of notion. I feel sorry for any new enterprise software company. The monopolists

    (Google and Microsoft) are just gonna copy your work and add it to their bundle.

    • bluvg

      Or they'll buy it, which I think is what most startups hope? The look and purpose are similar, but the Fluid components part I think takes it to a whole other level, plus you have all the IG/compliance/security controls that few startups consider.

      • pungkuss

        Yeah, but doesn't it make you sad that the end result is selling to a monopoly. How big does these companies need to be. And that security excuse means that there is no room in the enterprise for small innovative companies.

        • bluvg

          It's a mixed bag. I admire the entrepreneur in it not for a quick payout but to fulfill a need or do it better, and I appreciate the huge challenge they face. But I get frustrated with most startups because they chase the shiny and forget about the very important but mundane. Microsoft fleshes out the mundane, though their solutions are often hit and miss, with inexplicable user-unfriendliness or missing the real-world functional point. But at least they try. There's probably a market for startups that execute the mundane very well.

  6. jchampeau

    I bet the same person who came up with "Tech intensity" also came up with "atomic units of productivity."

  7. bluvg

    Notion on steroids? I think there will be confusion due to similarities to Teams, though... unclear why it's a separate thing, other than perhaps that Teams is getting crowded.

  8. stassi801

    Finally, the dream of an infinite number of monkeys typing on an infinite number of keyboards eventually writing Hamlet might become reality.

  9. Pierre Masse

    Everything is about collaboration. I use Word and Excel only for myself. I feel out of the Loop. Haha.