AI-Powered Teams Planner and New Unified App for Windows and Mac


This Week in IT, the new Planner app coming to Teams will be getting some AI smarts powered by Copilot. Microsoft announced that it will now become GA in May and roll out in preview form starting in March. And in other Teams news, Microsoft is unifying Teams on Windows and Mac with a single app for both personal and work and school accounts.

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This Week in IT, the new Planner app coming to Teams is getting some AI smarts powered by Copilot. Microsoft announced the new Teams Planner app will now be generally available in May and will be available in preview form starting in March. Plus in other news, Microsoft is unifying the Teams client on Windows and Mac to bring together personal and work and school accounts in one application. So stay tuned to find out more.

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So if you remember back to Ignite in November 2023, Microsoft announced that it was going to be unifying some of its task management applications into a single app in Teams called Planner. Now at the moment of course we have all of these different applications, we have Planner itself, we have Task by Planner which is the current app inside Teams, we have Todo and of course Microsoft Project. And the problem is that it’s just too many different apps for people to understand what they should be using and when.

Microsoft acknowledged that customers had requested a single intelligent platform where they could track all of their tasks in one place. So at that conference Microsoft announced that they would be getting rid of tasks by Planner and creating a new Planner app not just for Teams but also for the web later this year that brings a lot of the functionalities across all the different apps that we have at the moment together in a single place.(…)

Now this week Microsoft announced finally that the Planner app for Teams will be made available generally available in May this year and that we’re going to start seeing this come available in preview form in March. So what do we know exactly about Planner for Teams and what’s behind this? So Microsoft is trying to unify not just the different applications that are available at the moment but to bring together their experience in collaborative work management, enterprise work management and frontline task management also into a single application.

But of course just like anything at the moment Microsoft is hoping that this is going to be a task-driven application that is driven by AI to help accelerate workflows and get results done faster. More specifically Microsoft is saying that of course using co-pilot and natural language prompts that it will help you to generate new plans, set goals, track status and react to changes as projects evolve.

With the new Planner app coming to Teams a little bit later this year is it something that you would adopt if you’re using a different project management solution outside of Microsoft 365 or do you think they’re not simplifying this enough or not adding the right features to the lower level subscriptions to make this something attractive if you’re using something like Trello or for all of those project management tasks. I’d be really interested to know what does Microsoft need to do to make you switch over. Now before this week we didn’t know when this was all going to become available.

Microsoft just said early next year now we know that at least general availability is going to be May and of course there are always some complexities some of these more advanced features are only going to be available to those that have premium access to Microsoft 365 project plans some of the things that are coming from project into this Planner app are not necessarily going to be available for everyone.

And if you don’t have a Microsoft 365 license Microsoft is also saying now that you will still need to create new tasks in the to-do app. Also I’m not very clear about the AI features are you going to have to subscribe to Copilot for Microsoft 365 to get all or just some of these AI features or will some of the AI features be just coming to everybody.

I suspect that you’re probably going to have to have a Copilot license but we’ll see how all of that pans out as this comes into preview in March. So of course this is all very welcome I can’t wait to see this start to happen the task management story in Microsoft 365 is just too complicated of course customers have been telling Microsoft that and they’re listening to that feedback to simplify this solution. In another move that they announced this week Microsoft is planning to unify the two separate apps they have for Teams at the moment in Windows 11.
So you have one application that’s for use with personal accounts and of course you have the work application for work on school accounts and Microsoft is unifying that experience on Mac and Windows so that you just have one application regardless of what kind of account you’re using with Teams.

Now Microsoft has said that on Windows 11 when this becomes generally available and that’s set to happen in June that they will start to remove the Teams personal app from the taskbar they will try to do it but not actually remove the application itself at least not at this stage and I think this is definitely the right thing to do today most people are probably seeing two Teams icons on their task bar I think that’s very confusing they are slightly different of course but essentially they’re using the same icon and I think this is the best thing that Microsoft could do with personal accounts although I really wonder how many people are actually using Teams with personal accounts let me know if that’s you in the comments below.

If you found this video useful I’d really appreciate it if you gave it a thumbs up because that helps to get it more widely distributed on YouTube and of course helps to grow the channel. I’m going to leave another video on the screen now for you that you might find interesting because Microsoft is bringing Microsoft root 6.5 apps to Zoom so if you use that platform that is probably great news for you. But that’s it for this week thank you for watching and I’ll see you next time.