During the keynote at its annual Worldwide Partner Conference taking place this week, Microsoft introduced Project GigJam, a new cloud service and set of apps that aims to make it easier for individuals in teams to work together on business tasks.
Years in the making, GigJam is, in essence, a project management tool, which breaks down tasks into manageable chunks that are presented as mini apps. Using Cortana, users can summon the information they need, circle and cross tasks they want to share and divvy up, and tap people to involve them.
Phil Sorgen, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Channel, has described it as “an unprecedented new way for people to accomplish their business tasks and transform business processes by breaking down the barriers between devices, apps and people.”
“GigJam is designed for the emerging workforce that is more connected, more available and more social than ever before,” Microsoft’s Ambient Computing Team explained in a blog post.
According to the team, the solution emerged from a need to take on the next big challenge in productivity: task work.
“It’s simply not possible for app developers to anticipate all the ways people involve others on the spur of the moment: to get them working on parts of a task, to seek input leading to decisions, to get buy in and closure on things,” they said. “What’s truly needed is a way for people to spontaneously divvy up the information and actions needed to get work done, to keep track of each part, and bring it all to closure with others.”
As a result, GigJam serves as a blank canvas, which lets you pull in data from multiple sources. Users can then take the information they need and send it out to others within the team, similar to screen sharing or casting, but with the difference that each person can have a different view, and any field or row or even a UI affordance like a scroll button can be redacted. And because the recipient gets only the UI the sender intended, not only can they get to work quicker, but information security is ensured too.
Some details about the product are still to be revealed, such as when it will be made available and how much it will cost. However, Microsoft has said it will be shipping ‘soon’ and you can sign up now to be one of the first to get your hands on the preview.
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