In releasing their FY 22 Q2 earnings, Microsoft also pushed out a new document detailing some of the product changes between quarters. We’ve given the document a look, and have a look at everything new in Windows, Office, and Xbox these past few months. It covers Windows 11, the launch of games like Forza Horizon 5, the launch of Office 2021, and so much more.
Of course, we start first with Windows. The biggest story? Between Microsoft’s financial quarters, Windows 11 launched with a new look for the Start Menu, and new tools, ways to connect. In addition, Microsoft also launched Windows 11 SE, a special edition of Windows purpose-built for education and grades K-8 users.
Other Windows highlights include the launch of Windows 365, the new Microsoft Store, and changes to store policies to welcome other storefronts like Epic Games and Amazon. Oh, and let’s not forget the launch of the Windows 10 November 2021 update, which is focused on adding some enterprise features.
Office, Microsoft 365, Edge
As far as Office goes, Microsoft announced Office 2021, which comes with new co-authoring inking tools, data types, functions, and more. With Microsoft 365, meanwhile, Microsoft launched Viva Connections, Insights, Learning, to help ensure employees can stay connected to their organization’s culture. We’ll also include Edge here, too, which picked up features like Efficiency mode, new shopping, and security features, and inking features for PDFs.
Teams is always big for Microsoft, and in between financial quarters, there were a ton of announcements. Microsoft launched Teams Essentials, updates for Whiteboard in Teams, a Standout presenter mode, and tons of capabilities for Teams Phones. Also included is the ability to purchase third-party Teams app subscriptions through the Teams store, and end-to-end encryption in 1:1 calls on Teams.
On the Xbox side, things were very busy. Between quarters, Microsoft launched titles like Age of Empires IV, Forza Horizon 5, Halo Infinite Campaign, and even Microsoft Flight Simulator: Game of the Year Edition. Other moments include the celebration of 20 years of Xbox with special controllers, a docu-series. And let’s not forget Minecraft becoming the first property on YouTube to pass one trillion views. And while not mentioned in the document as the deal won’t close until next year, we have to mention too the blockbuster acquisition announcement that Microsoft is buying Activision / Blizzard.
We’ve just hit the major products most people care about, but Microsoft also launched new Surface devices between its quarters. That includes Surface Duo 2, Surface Laptop Studio, Pro 8, Slim Pen 2, Laptop SE. There were a ton of Azure announcements, too, centered around data centers, IoT, AI, and more. It definitely was a big quarter for Microsoft, and with the news that Windows 11 is gaining momentum, things can only get better from here on out.