Review: Office 365's Delve, Sway and Planner fall flat

Microsoft's latest productivity tools – now including the Planner mobile app for iOS and Android -- have a few compelling features but integrate poorly with Office

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Microsoft really, really wants to own all of your office work, so it keeps finding new tools it hopes you will add to your Office 365 portfolio. (All require an Office 365 account to use.) The latest is today’s announcement that its Microsoft Planner mobile app is now available for iPhone and Android phones. Microsoft said on its Office Blog  that current Planner users can use this companion app to view and update their plans on the go. 

Microsoft plans to to add push notifications, the ability to create new plans from the mobile app and integration with Intune.

Last September, Microsoft added Delve for file discovery, Sway for modern-style presentations, and Planner for task management. But are they any good? 

Microsoft's productivity tools have long been the standard for word processing (Word), spreadsheets (Excel), presentations (PowerPoint), and email/calendar/contacts (Outlook -- on Windows, anyhow). Office 365 extends those tools across users and devices in truly handy, if complex ways.

Microsoft also tried to own business collaboration, though several of its tools (Yammer and Outlook Group) fall far short, and others (Skype for Business, Outlook, and OneDrive) are only now starting to become usable across all devices.

Sadly, the new Office 365 tools are more like Microsoft's inadequate collaboration tools than its productivity standard-bearers. If you want to be kind, think of them as works in progress. But don't rely on them in your standard workflows.

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