Posted by: kurtsh | December 15, 2017

BETA: Microsoft Whiteboard (Preview)

imageMicrosoft Whiteboard is a new Windows 10/Office 365 product that is kinda like a online collaborative version of OneNote. You can drop anything you want into whiteboard like you can OneNote, but it’s designed for lots of people to work on simultaneously.

The content is persistent – as in you can save & come back to it, which is important for iterating through brainstorming sessions.  And it works on all sorts of Windows 10 devices & is digital ink aware – in other words, it accepts pen/eraser input extremely well.

Microsoft Whiteboard Preview

Microsoft Whiteboard is a freeform digital canvas where people, ideas, and content can come together for creative collaboration. The app is built for anyone who engages in creative, freeform thinking before getting to their final output. It’s designed for teams that need to ideate, iterate, and work together both in person and remotely, and across multiple devices.

Collaborate Effortlessly
The limitless surface ensures that imagination has room to grow, and there’s always space for everyone’s ideas. Bring in teammates whether they’re across the hall or in a different part of the world with real-time collaboration across multiple devices. You can see where everyone is on the board and the updates they’re making – whether they’re adding images, putting up sticky notes, or creating diagrams. Now even remote workers can easily join in and contribute to the discussion.

Work Naturally
Microsoft Whiteboard lets you create in whatever way feels most natural to you. The pen-first, touch-first technology lets you make fluid gestures with your fingers or draw out finer details with your pen. Using your pen, you can jot down notes, draw precise illustrations, or search for images on the web. Using your fingers, you can swipe to different sections of your board, turn the virtual ruler to the angle you want, and drag and drop images to create a photo stack. Whether you use pen or touch, Microsoft Whiteboard recognizes your intent and delivers your desired outcomes in an instant.

Create Digitally
With Microsoft Whiteboard, you can use intelligent ink that recognizes your freeform drawings and turns them into standard shapes so it’s easy to create great-looking tables, diagrams, and flowcharts. And unlike traditional whiteboards, the app automatically saves your boards so you can pick up where you left off or share links to your boards so others can build on top of your work. No more need to take photos of your canvas or to email photos to others when you need to get them up to speed.

There’s one asterisk in the announcement page that’s pretty important:

The Microsoft Whiteboard Preview is rolling out to all English versions of Windows 10 within the next 24 hours, and will roll out to additional languages in the coming months. The app is free to use for anyone with a Windows 10 device, but one participant with an Office 365 personal, work, or school account is needed for multi-party collaboration. For SurfaceHub customers, the Microsoft Whiteboard Preview will eventually replace the native whiteboard app currently running on your SurfaceHub. In the meantime, you can install the preview of the Microsoft Whiteboard alongside your existing app. 

I’ve also found the following comment in the Product Site FAQ, that’s rather important:

I am using an Office 365 work account from my organization. Why can’t I log into the Microsoft Whiteboard Preview?

While Microsoft Whiteboard is in Preview mode, your IT administrator will have to enable the app for use in your organization. They can do this in the Office 365 administrator portal where they enable or disable apps for users.

Read more about Microsoft Whiteboard here:


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