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M365 Changelog: Refreshed Microsoft Whiteboard client experience coming soon

Petri Staff

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MC279627 – Updated February 23, 2022: Microsoft has updated the rollout timeline below to show correctly. Microsoft apologizes for any confusion.

Whiteboard is creating a unified experience across devices. Soon, you’ll have the same experience no matter which device you are using Whiteboard on, and all whiteboards will be created in OneDrive for Business.

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  1. When are these changes happening?: The automatic store rollout will begin in mid-February, completing by mid-March. The switch to ODB as the default for new content will begin in mid-March, completing by late-April.
  2. How can I update the Whiteboard application on Windows ahead of time?: To get early access to the new Whiteboard app for Windows prior to the automatic update, Microsoft has two options available.
    • Option 1: Install Whiteboard using Intune: Download the new Whiteboard app here. You can deploy this package to users’ devices using Intune. Follow the steps in this article Enable Microsoft Whiteboard for your organization, in the section “How to Deploy the Windows Application”. Note that you will need to continue to deploy updated versions of the application using this process.
    • Option 2: Provide a separate version for users to try. Download the beta version from here: Your users can download a new trial version of the Whiteboard app from here. This will install a standalone trial version that they can use, without impacting the current application. Once the automatic update begins, users should uninstall the trial version.
  3. How can I update the Whiteboard application on Surface Hub ahead of time?: There is no mechanism to preview the new whiteboard app before the release on surface hub. Microsoft will be sending a detailed communication on the changes on whiteboard experience on hub shortly. Microsoft apologizes for any confusion.
  4. How can I start using OneDrive for Business storage ahead of time?: To get early access to Whiteboard on OneDrive for Business, you can enable it in the Office 365 admin portal following the steps in this article Microsoft Whiteboard on OneDrive for Business Opt-In This article outlines which clients are currently supported. Default on will begin in late March and complete by mid-April.
  5. What are the primary differences between the new and old experiences?: Please reference this article for a list of current differences, anticipated features to be added by the time the applications unify, as well as additional planned features coming in 2022: New Whiteboard experience and features coming to you

Microsoft Whiteboard is being updated to provide a new, unified experience across all devices, whether you’re on a large screen or a mobile phone. Microsoft has already shipped new, highly requested features to our web app, Android app and Teams clients, and there’s more on the way. As part of this new experience, Microsoft will also be updating our native applications on Windows 10, Surface Hub and iOS to provide a uniform experience across all devices.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID: 7219682093, and 82094.

When this will happen:

Please see updated timings above.

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How this will affect your organization:

The below features are available on web and Teams:

  • Sticky note colors: 10 colorful sticky note shades to choose from.
  • Note grids – insert a grid of sticky notes in one of 12 available colors to help in workshops and ideation sessions.
  • View objects created in native apps – Objects such as lists & templates inserted on native apps can be viewed on web and Teams as well.
  • Ink pen colors: 15 new ink pen color options with a range of thicknesses to help visualize your content and bring your text to life.
  • Highlighter colors: – 15 new highlighter color options enable users to emphasize content on the board.
  • Ink shape recognition: – draw shapes with ink and then watch them straighten automatically.
  • Improved mouse inking: – create smoother ink lines, making your strokes easier and cleaner when drawing with a mouse or trackpad.
  • Read only mode for education accounts: – as a meeting facilitator or an educator, determine when and how students participate and collaborate by enabling or disabling their editing capabilities.

The features below are in progress and will be rolling out soon.

Modern look and feel:

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  • Streamlined user experience: an unobtrusive app UI maximizes your canvas space.
  • Creation gallery: a highly discoverable, simple way of finding and using objects and features in the application.

Collaboration features:

  • Collaboration roster: see who is on the board and collaborating with you.
  • Collaborative cursors: see where other people are on the canvas and what they are editing.
  • Laser pointer: get other people’s attention as you share your best ideas.
  • Improved performance: quickly open boards, pan and zoom, create content, and collaborate in real time with numerous editors at once during large working sessions.

Interactive content features:

  • More than 30 customizable templates: get started quickly and collaborate, brainstorm, and ideate with brand new templates.
  • Reactions: provide lightweight, contextual feedback with a set of fun reactions.
  • Images: add images from your local drive to the canvas and annotate them to build visual interest on your boards.

Facilitation features:

  • Copy/paste: copy and paste content and text within the same whiteboard.
  • Object alignment: use alignment lines and object snapping to precisely organize content spatially.
  • Format background: personalize your whiteboard by changing the background color and pattern .

Inking features:

  • Ink arrows: smoothly draw single and double-sided arrows using ink to better facilitate diagramming.
  • Ink effect pens: express yourself in a creative way using rainbow and galaxy ink.

The below features will change as part of the native app update:

  • Ruler: for straight lines, users can now insert lines from the shapes menu or hold down shift when inking.
  • Erase entire ink strokes: for faster erasing, users can now erase the entire ink stroke instead of a portion of it.
  • Lock image: the ability to lock images and other canvas content will be available shortly after the update.
  • Insert document: the ability to insert documents from local storage along with OneDrive and SharePoint will be available shortly after update.
  • Like/unlike sticky notes: users can use stickers instead as a workaround for lightweight voting and liking. Microsoft will be releasing more enhanced voting capabilities in a future update.
  • Sorting: the ability to organize and sort lists and note grids are being rebuilt and will be included in a future update.
  • Export template to CSV and email summary: these features are being rebuilt and will be included in a future update, including different ways to export content from the board.
  • Ink grab, Ink to table and Ink to text: these features are being rebuilt and will be included in a future update.
  • Accessibility checker and alt text: these features are being rebuilt and will be included in a future update.
  • Bing image search: users can download and insert images onto the canvas with the insert image feature.
  • Easy share on Surface Hub: this feature is being rebuilt and will be included in a future update.

What you need to do to prepare:

Microsoft Whiteboard web and Teams clients:

  • The new features in web and Teams will be automatically rolled out to all customers.

Microsoft Whiteboard native apps on Windows 10, Surface Hub and iOS:

  • The new features in our native clients will be automatically rolled out to customers. However, if you deployed the native Windows 10 client through SCCM or Intune, you should download and deploy the new version.

Note: A separate message will be sent with details on the transition to OneDrive for Business storage.

Learn more:

Enterprise and Commercial users:

Education users:

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