Microsoft Launches Loop, a New Project Management and Collaboration App

The launch sees Microsoft expand into the project planning market, where it'll compete with the likes of monday.com.

Microsoft has launched Loop, a collaboration and workplace productivity app that is already being touted as a rival to Notion.

Loop, which Microsoft defines as a “transformative co-creation experience”, is available to Microsoft and Azure Active Directory account holders, with an app for smartphones thought to be in the pipeline already.

Whether Loop will be able to compete with Notion – as well as some of the more fully-fledged and well-established project management programs like monday.com – remains unclear at present.

Loop: What You Need to Know

“In our current landscape, we encounter more ambiguity and uncertainty than ever, requiring us to co-create in fast-paced and dynamic environments,” Microsoft explains in a blog post announcing the launch of the new application.

That’s where Loop comes in. Loop, Microsoft says, will help you “organize everything you need for your project into a single workspace and even does the searching for you to kick it off.”

It’s as simple as adding a workspace title and other relevant keywords and Microsoft Loop will recommend what documents, files, and other assets to add to the workspace. The app then organizes all of your resources into an easily-understandable structure.

Key Aspects of Loop

To deal with the evolving needs of a project, Microsoft Loop will let you easily start new pages with pre-made templates, utilizing a simple drag-and-drop interface to make the process as intuitive as possible for users.

You can add checklists, numbered lists, images, tables, and other page components with Loop’s “insert menu”, which can be summoned by typing a “/” as pictured below (image credit: Microsoft). Files can be quickly attached by typing “@”.

Loop screenshot

Moving information from Loop across to different apps seems like a piece of cake too. “Turn any content on a Loop page into a component, then simply copy and paste across M365 apps, including Teams chat, Outlook, Whiteboard, and rolling out for Word for the web” Microsoft explains.

Will Loop Be the Next Big Productivity App?

Loop certainly looks promising as a workplace productivity and project-planning application. Functionally, it looks like you’ll be able to achieve many of the same things as you can using a program like Notion.

Loop’s UI is certainly impressive, leaning into the cozy yet minimalistic look utilized by project management software such as Asana, rather than the more spreadsheet-based interfaces favored by the likes of Smartsheet.

However, it’s unlikely to unseat industry giants like monday.com any time soon.

For one, Loop is currently only available for Microsoft Azure Directory and Microsoft Account users – but then again, if it proves useful, there’s no reason it couldn’t be made generally available to everyone, regardless of whether they have a Microsoft account.

Secondly, an app like ClickUp, Wrike, or monday.com will still be the better option for highly complex project management at present, with intricate task management features and the capacity to handle data-intensive projects being worked on by multiple teams.

You can get started with Loop today by checking out Microsoft’s public preview.

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Written by:
Aaron Drapkin is Tech.co's Content Manager. He has been researching and writing about technology, politics, and society in print and online publications since graduating with a Philosophy degree from the University of Bristol six years ago. As a writer, Aaron takes a special interest in VPNs, cybersecurity, and project management software. He has been quoted in the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, The Daily Mail, Computer Weekly, Cybernews, Lifewire, HR News and the Silicon Republic speaking on various privacy and cybersecurity issues, and has articles published in Wired, Vice, Metro, ProPrivacy, The Week, and Politics.co.uk covering a wide range of topics.
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