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Microsoft (MSFT) Announces New Updates to Microsoft 365 Apps

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Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) recently rolled out new features and updates to Microsoft 365 that improve a user’s ability to deliver compelling presentations and visuals, enhance security protections for small businesses, and help employees to organize and streamline workflow in a hybrid or remote working environment.

The company has launched a private preview of Microsoft Viva Goals — a new module that helps organizations set measurable goals and enables employees to record and track progress along the way. With customized dashboards and quick links, Viva Goals makes it easy to check in on progress and share results.

Microsoft has also rolled out a Storytelling feature to PowerPoint. It is an integration between Microsoft Power BI and PowerPoint, added to enable live, interactive reports within the slides. PowerPoint users are now able to add live report pages into PowerPoint slides without losing data interactivity, even when making their presentation.

A new enhancement to presenter mode enables the presenter to choose where they show up on the slide and the ability to resize their video feed while automatically adjusting content size accordingly.

The company has started offering Defender for Business as a standalone, giving small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) multi-layer protection, detection, and response option against increasing cyber threats. On Mar 1, 2022, Microsoft Defender for Business was made generally available in Microsoft 365 Business Premium, its comprehensive security and productivity solution for businesses with up to 300 employees.

Other Upgrades to Streamline Workflow and Processes

Microsoft has been consistently updating its software offerings to aid enterprises with the regular workflow. Strong adoption of Microsoft 365 is expected to aid top-line growth in the near term.

In third-quarter fiscal 2022, Office Consumer products and cloud services revenues rose 11% (up 12% at cc), driven by growth in Microsoft 365 subscription revenues. Microsoft 365 Consumer subscribers totaled 58.4 million, up 16% year over year.

Microsoft Teams, Lists, and Forms have been given various updates aimed to streamline processes and minimize distractions within an origination. The company is adding a notification drawer in Teams that appears at the top of the screen for in-meeting messages. This will enable users to preview, collapse, and clear all notifications with just one tap.

Microsoft has also extended the availability of Microsoft Lists for Android to Google Play store for Microsoft 365 commercial customers. The new mobile app is likely to aid users in managing events, tracking issues and assets, helping with new-employee onboarding, and keeping coordination across inventory.

The company has further introduced two new experiences with Microsoft Forms — a cross-device experience, which brings the full capability of Microsoft Forms to a mobile device and the getting started experience for new users, including a series of templates that can be used across work, school, and life.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Microsoft currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector include Avnet (AVT - Free Report) , Monolithic Power Systems (MPWR - Free Report) and Analog Devices (ADI - Free Report) . While Avnet and Monolithic Power Systems sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Analog Devices carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Avnet has gained 6.3% in the past year. The long-term earnings growth rate for AVT is currently projected at 37.2%.

Monolithic Power Systems has gained 18.9% in the past year. The long-term earnings growth rate for MPWR is currently projected at 25%.

Analog Devices has rallied 0.8% in the past year. The long-term earnings growth rate for ADI is currently projected at 12.3%.