Introducing Microsoft Oslo: Your New Office Assistant

Introducing Microsoft Oslo: Your New Office Assistant

Microsoft has made a number of significant strides this year.  There was the first update to its controversial operating system, Windows 8.1, Office finally became available on iPads and Cortana, Microsoft’s version of Siri, was introduced.

Now we’re being introduced to a new Microsoft development called “Oslo.”  Oslo was first publicly announced at the SharePoint Conference in March but it wasn’t until the recent TechEd event that there was a formal Oslo demonstration.

Oslo is the name of Microsoft’s new personal assistant app.   It’s designed to cater to business users working in conjunction with Office Graph. According to the Microsoft blog, “Office Graph uses sophisticated machine learning techniques to connect you to the relevant documents, conversations, and people around you.”

Basically Office Graph knows your schedule, the people you meet with, where your documents are stored, who you’ve been communicating with and so on. This is pretty amazing in itself.

Oslo works off the back of this information by presenting what it understands and believes is more important to its specific user.  It also gives users the option to filter through all the Office Graph content so you can find exactly what you’re looking for.  The types of filters include ‘modified by me,’ ‘liked by me,’ ‘shared with me’ and more – essentially these filters are based on the ways that most people think when they are trying to locate information.  Perhaps you can’t remember the name of a document that you are trying to locate but you do remember that someone shared it with you.  Oslo will allow you filter your information and look only for information that was shared with you so you can find exactly what you are looking for every time.

Much like Cortana, Oslo is designed to learn about the individual user – remember preferences, understand patterns, recognise key phrases.  This way it can provide you with information in a more intelligent way.  It’s like a search engine tailored to you and your needs.  You are shown what is relevant to you and you can search using filters that are based on the way you think.

For those wondering how Oslo differs from Siri, OK Google and Cortana, it is a confined standalone app that works specifically within Office Graphs.  Although Oslo certainly falls within the same trend of intelligent, virtual assistants.

The consumer release date of Oslo has not yet been announced.  More information on Oslo and Office Graphs can be found on the Microsoft Office Blog.