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.