The Horizon: August 2023

So, what’s on The Horizon this month? From Teams and Copilot message extensions and a handy Power Platform prompt library to Llama 2 news and Shared Channels on Teams, there’s something for everyone.

Calendar Overlay new feature news

First things first, Team Cloudwell have been beavering away making feature updates to our best-selling Calendar Overlay app. 

For those not familiar with Calendar Overlay, it’s our integrated calendar app which allows you to view SharePoint lists and libraries, Outlook and Exchange calendars, Planner plans, and iCal feeds in one place. 

The big news is that users can now seamlessly view up to 12 months of events at once with our “Continuous” view option.  

We’ve also made it easier to spot and book free times by allowing you to display the open time slots of your Exchange calendars directly within Calendar Overlay. 

For more on our Calendar Overlay updates, see the release notes on our website. 

Putting apps at the center of the conversation

We all know that app-switching can be a real pain, not to mention the loss of productivity involved, so why not make it easy for people to use their favorite app directly in your Teams chat, right where the conversation is happening? That’s where message extensions come in. 

In his blog, Microsoft Senior Product Marketing Manager, Daniel Carrasco, explains how to set up message extensions, including info about ‘search’ and ‘action’ commands.

Plus, find out how message extensions act as a plugin for Microsoft 365 Copilot, extending their functionality even further.

Getting the most out of Power Platform

If you’re looking to get the most out of Power Platform AI Copilots and need some inspiration, this one’s for you. 

The Power Platform Prompt Library includes sample prompts, including email generator or timesheet approval automation, to help you maximize the capabilities of the Power Platform, increasing efficiency and productivity. What’s not to like? 

Democratizing AI and its benefits

Building generative AI-powered tools and experiences just got a whole lot easier, with the recent announcement that Microsoft and Meta are growing their partnership, including support for the Llama 2 on Azure and Windows. 

Llama 2 is Meta’s open-source Large Language Model (LLM) and it’s free for research and commercial use. Microsoft is Meta’s preferred partner, meaning developers using Microsoft Azure can build with it and use their cloud-native tools for content filtering and safety features.  

Llama 2 is also optimized to run locally on Windows, giving developers a seamless workflow as they bring generative AI experiences to customers across different platforms. 

For more details on Microsoft and Meta’s growing partnership and what the expansion means for developers, see Microsoft’s blog.  

Seamless collaboration with shared channels

If staff in your organization regularly work with external partners, this one’s a game changer. 

We all know the frustration of having to switch tenants to collaborate with partners outside our organization.  

Shared channels in Microsoft Teams, allows users to seamlessly work with external organizations while staying in their home tenant.  

Using Microsoft Entra’s cross-tenant access controls to establish trust, users are securely authenticated and authorized on the backend, with channel access based on their individual permissions. 

Microsoft 365 Director, Jeremy Chapman has created a great tutorial explaining how it works and how to set it up, so you’ll never need to interrupt your workflow by switching tenants again. 

Cloudbell fever reaches Seattle

It’s spreading. Not only have we been prescribing more Cloudbell in Washington DC. Cloudbell fever has also reached the west coast. 

We attended 365 EduCon Seattle earlier this month and on top of dishing out our increasingly popular Cloudbell swag to conference goers, we’ve been having a blast introducing delegates to our time-saving, productivity-enhancing apps and watching inspiring speakers like Susan Hanley and Nate Chamberlain. 

Look out for our highlights and key takeaways, coming to a screen near you soon… 


At Cloudwell, as a Microsoft Gold Partner, we make it our business to provide innovative enterprise solutions for your business. 

Get in touch and see how we can help solve your biggest challenges.