Microsoft Brings an Office 365 Workspace to the Mac

Posted on September 8, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in iOS, Office 365 with 4 Comments

A new Microsoft Garage project called My Workspace brings Office 365 to the macOS desktop. It’s also the first-ever Garage project built for Mac.

“My Workspace is a Mac menu bar app that brings together your Office 365 experience into one, easy-to-access place, so that you can be more productive,” an introductory video explains. “You can get a quick overview of your day with the Calendar Events section, RSVP to events, and join your Skype meetings with a single click.”

According to the My Workspace website, this utility came about when a Vancouver-based Garage intern team was “challenged to add value to a person’s day using the Office 365 suite.” So naturally, they decided to further challenge themselves by using the Mac.

“After talking to busy people, the team narrowed down the main things that help a person stay organized throughout a busy day: people responded en masse that they were missing an at-a-glance view of their day and often lose track of shared files. My Workspace was born,” the site explains. “There is nothing like this on the Mac platform for the Office 365 suite.”

Taking a quick look at My Workspace, I see that it works with both personal (Microsoft) accounts and work/education accounts, so I chose the former. My schedule goes through Google Calendar, so it doesn’t pop-up in the Calendar Events section, but this looks like an interesting take on that Today view that used to be (maybe still is) in Microsoft Outlook on Windows.

The bottom half of the pop-up window is dedicated to documents—with pinned and recent views—and you can launch the Mac-based Microsoft Office apps, if you have them.

Configuration possibilities are limited. You can only connect one account, so you have to choose between consumer and work/school accounts. And you can set the number of Calendar Events and Recent Documents to display, plus configure which Microsoft Office apps appear in the App Launcher. You can’t add other apps.

Overall, this looks like a pretty nifty front-end to Office 365.

You can download My Workspace from the Microsoft Garage website.

Thanks to Bob B. for the tip via email.

 

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