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Microsoft December 2018 Update Highlights New AI-powered Tools in Microsoft 365

Microsoft highlighted 2018’s last update to Microsoft 365 with a handful of (AI) artificial intelligence-powered additions to many its Microsoft 365 Office apps.

Here’s a look at what’s new in December.

These include a new dark mode for the Word, PowerPoint, and Excel apps on macOS Mojave,

The new dark theme will be rolling out to users over the coming weeks alongside a refreshed UI.

The updated user interface for Office for Mac will offer new icons to help find the features quickly.

Here is a screenshot of macOS Mojave Dark Mode in Office for Mac:

Office for Mac support for macOS Mojave Dark Mode

A design refresh has also hit Outlook for iOS, refining the interface and making the app more colorful and faster.

The updated UI introduces new avatars, optimized swipe with haptic feedback, dynamic scrolling in the inbox for at a glance message.

A new feature in Microsoft PowerPoint and Skype introduces AI-powered contextually relevant and accurate live captions & subtitles that automatically appear in real-time.

In PowerPoint, this feature will recognize 12 spoken languages and render on-screen subtitles and captions in over 60 languages.

This feature will roll out to Windows 10, Mac, and PowerPoint Online starting January 2019.

Microsoft is also now offering automatic acronym definitions in Word. Using Microsoft Graph and Microsoft AI, the feature will automatically offer suggestions for acronym definitions as a user read documents.

Users can access Acronyms pane by clicking on the “Acronyms” button on “Review” tab to get suggested definitions for acronyms.

Office 365 subscribers can access this features now.

The PowerPoint still allow reusing slides from other presentation files or from other users within an organization.

Microsoft AI is used here as well, recommending relevant slides while creating a new presentation.

A GIF animation below demonstrates new reuse slide feature in PowerPoint:

Reuse Slides in Microsoft 365 PowerPoint app

Users on their “Home” tab would simply click the “Reuse Slides” button to open existing PowerPoint decks in the sidebar to browse all recommended slides to reuse them.

Other updates this month include new security features in Microsoft Bookings as well as integrations into Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, and third-party payments apps.

Teams with access to new Graph APIs make it easier to create/ customize teams through the new automation capabilities.

And Yammer groups connected to Office 365 will now be able to store files uploaded to the service in SharePoint for added security and compliance, like DLP, eDiscovery, conditional access, and retention policies.

Lastly, password-less protection for access management white paper offers guidance for reducing risk with alternatives like biometrics and public key cryptography in Windows 10 desktop and on latest mobile devices.

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