The Horizon: December 2023 

New year, new and exciting developments in the Microsoft technosphere. Quite literally, if we were to list everything that’s going on in this space, you’d be reading it into next year. So, we’ve picked just a few of our favorite updates and announcements that are on the horizon…

Microsoft launches Viva Connections announcements

Viva Connections announcements
Microsoft launches Viva Connections announcements. Image credit: Microsoft.

First up, on the subject of announcements, Microsoft has recently made one regarding the general availability of Viva Connections announcements coming soon in all normal Microsoft 365 tenants worldwide. 

If you’re not familiar with the feature, Viva Connections announcements will allow you to set up, manage, and schedule announcements directly from your organization’s SharePoint home site or from the Viva Connections user interface, as long as you have the necessary permissions. 

The Viva Connections announcements feature is part of a wider set of features rolling out in the Microsoft 365 ecosystem anytime soon. Yet you don’t have to wait to take advantage of the announcements feature as we’ve launched our very own Viva Announcements app.

Compatible with SharePoint and Teams, Cloudwell’s Viva Announcements app enables you to see your Viva Connections announcements anywhere in SharePoint sites, which is not currently possible in the native Viva Connections experience.

SharePoint Roadmap Update

Compelling content in SharePoint
SharePoint’s new look empowers you to make pages and sites that are differentiated, bolder, and more sophisticated than ever before. Image credit: Microsoft.

Early in 2023, Microsoft outlined its vision for making it easier than ever to build more compelling and engaging SharePoint sites and pages. 

With a focus on four key themes: simpler authoring, compelling content, deeper engagement, and a flexible platform, that vision is coming to fruition. 

Simpler authoring 

Creating web content can be complex, which can be a barrier to getting started, and simpler authoring tools aim to make this process easier and more accessible. 

New features include the introduction of Copilot in SharePoint, as well as a new SharePoint Start experience, real-time co-authoring and simplified page sharing. 

Compelling content 

With the aim of empowering users to make pages and sites that are bolder and more sophisticated than ever before, Microsoft has announced it will launch a new Brand Center in SharePoint early next year, increasing the flexibility of branding elements across sites.  

In addition, the new Stream webpart will make it easier to showcase video content in pages. 

Deeper engagement 

Over recent years, connecting and collaborating with co-workers has become increasingly difficult and complex.  

With Microsoft Viva Amplify organizations can meaningfully reach and engage with employees through centralized campaign management, multi-channel publishing, and reporting capabilities.  

SharePoint News in Outlook is also a great tool for reaching employees where they are. 

Flexible platform 

With SharePoint Framework (SPFx) there are so many new opportunities for developers and IT professionals to customize and extend SharePoint. Recent updates include more flexibility for Viva Connections card layout options, Fluid UI React v8 support, and updates to Microsoft Teams solutions templates. 

Follow the link for the full deets on ‘what’s shipped’ and what’s ‘coming soon’ in the SharePoint space… 

Kashman’s slash hack

Mark Kashman slash gif
Animated GIF | The Forward Slash “/” when used on a Loop page, within a Loop workspace, to add and use Loop components++ within Microsoft Loop. Image credit: Mark Kashman.

Whatever you call it: ‘forward slash’, ‘whack’, or even ‘solidus’, who knew this unassuming keyboard character could provoke such admiration. 

If you add it to Microsoft Loop, this symbol does indeed have superpowers according to our friend Mark Kashman. 

Intrigued, find out more here… 


Fancy getting in the Loop, benefiting from enterprise solutions with SharePoint Framework or making the most of Viva Connections features, as a Microsoft Gold Partner, we can help. 

Get in touch and let us solve your biggest challenges in 2024.