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Microsoft knows how people work, and sometimes people work together on projects. The new Group feature for Microsoft’s online services could help them collaborate more efficiently.

Announced in a blog post today, Groups can show employees at a glance all the different groups existing inside the company, without getting permission. Groups have dedicated inboxes, shared calendars, a hub for common files, and a way to comment on files without going to a different app.

“We’re launching Groups in stages starting today,” Jared Spataro, general manager of enterprise social at Microsoft, wrote in the blog post. “In this initial phase, Groups will show up within the web experiences of Office 365 email and calendar and OneDrive for Business. In upcoming phases, we will add Yammer and Lync to the Groups experience to help you do even more.”

For the most part, Groups might not sound like a huge advancement, drawing as it does on several Microsoft tools that have existed for years, like file sharing and email. But Groups does acknowledge how people really work, at least sometimes. And that position aligns well with Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella’s vision for the company.

“At our core, Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world,” Nadella wrote in a memo to employees in July.

And yes, you will be able to access Groups features on mobile devices.



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