Delve for Windows
Delve for Windows is the new modern app for Windows 10 that brings the power of Delve to the desktop. Read on for an early preview of Delve for Windows and why this will be a must have app for Office 365 customers.
Updated 29th June - Delve for Windows app is now generally available in preview and I have provided my feedback after using the app for a couple of weeks.
Delve for Windows Features
Delve for Windows is available from the Windows Store and here are some of the key features
- Starts with your profile page, brings together your recent documents and attachments
- Favorites section shows any items you have pinned, with the add favorites feature available throughout the app
- Discover section, shows popular documents you might be interested in and a notifications section shows a count of updated documents for people around you
- Clicking on a document will open it directly in the relevant desktop program or this can be switched to open in a web browser
- Responsive design adjusting to different resolutions and being re-sized, as well as a full-screen mode
- Universal search available throughout, search for people, documents and more across Office 365
This is the download link that should bring up the app in the Windows Store. I downloaded the app after Microsoft released it early and then withdrew it for a time.
Delve for Windows First Look
The Me Section has profile information, organization chart, colleagues shown in 'Works with' and your recent documents and attachments. Works with is shown on every profile and is very useful.
If you have ever used Delve on the Web, it looks very similar, unsurprisingly.
This offers a fluid experience by just taking this out of the web browser and putting it in an app makes a surprisingly big difference.
You will be able to filter just attachments separately though this feature isn't live yet.
If you use the favorites feature, you can quickly access these documents that have been 'starred' in their own section.
Discover, shows popular or trending documents from the people around you, that you might be interested in. This is the same information that appears in the OneDrive for Business web Discover section.
A yellow New banner is added to documents, that have been recently created. There is also an Updated banner to draw your attention to revised documents. You will see this elsewhere in the app.
You can tap or right-click on documents, to bring up these options. The share option just brings up the standard Windows 10 share screen, not making it particularly useful.
If you wanted to share a document, you would do it from the modern OneDrive app or the web browser.
The notifications section is a nice touch, possible a killer feature. It shows activity from all the people around you.
When you expand the section you see the avatars for individual people. You can hover over the person, it will let you know their name and how many updates they have. By clicking on these people, their full Delve Profile is shown, which you can interact with.
There is a 'Mark all as read' button, to clear all notifications. If you have "Show App notifications" enabled in Windows 10, you can toggle notifications on Delve and get Windows notifications with updates.
Notifications are going to be so handy but you can't control the people that appear here, which is the same as the web version. Office Graph will surface people that you interact with the most or are most connected to you but I'd like some control over this.
There is a settings section with a limited number of things you can change.
Delve for Windows - What's missing?
There are a few things missing however, the boards feature from the web version isn't to be seen anywhere. There is no blog new post option from the web version either. There is no in-line editing of your profile.
This aren't necessarily essential but it will be interesting to see how the app develops and what features are added.
If you haven't guesses already, I think Delve for Windows is a fantastic app. It's only just been released and is beta code but it shows so much promise already.
There is the stuff I haven't shown you as well, like the search feature, that makes a great staff directory as well as for document searches. You can search for a person, open their Delve profile, quickly see how they fit in the organization, contact information and what they have been working on.
You can go one step further, adding an about and skills section from the SharePoint profile and this will be shown as well, when viewing people's profiles.
The will all help better connect organizations, teams and colleagues than ever before.
Two weeks with the Office Delve for Windows 10 App
Since writing this preview, I have been using the Delve for Windows 10 app almost daily. I have found the app indispensable.
I had to go out of my way to visit the Delve web page, so I only dipped into it now and then. The app is more persuasive and part of of my workflow now.
- Windows 10 Action Center intergration is genuinely useful
- I am keeping better track of the people around me and what they are working on
- The search feature is great, its the quickest way of finding people and documents in Office 365
- 'Works with' is useful to get a mini organization chart
- I chose the option to open document in a web browser, that way I can quickly check out documents and see whats relevant
- In notifications I sometimes get updates from people I don't work with and have no connection to
- The people in the notifications list is dynamic, it would be nice to be able to pin key people rather than the list rearranging itself
Still on Windows 7/8.1?
By the way, my main negative though, is nothing to do with the app really. It's the fact that it's a Windows 10 only app. This will put it out of reach for many.
As I talked about in my 'Windows 7 End of Life – Act Now' mega-post, companies are missing out by not upgrading to Windows 10. This applies double to Office 365 customers. They miss out on these innovations, like modern Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps such as Delve for Windows and OneDrive.
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