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Microsoft rolls out Delve information and people discovery tool for Office 365

Microsoft has begun a months-long rollout of Delve, the first Office 365 application that taps into the suite’s Office Graph machine learning capabilities and maps connections between co-workers, documents and information.

Delve, announced in March with the code-name Oslo, is designed to automatically surface colleagues, files and data that are more relevant and important to users’ work.

Delve renders these connections via a very visual card-based interface, and bases its output on an analysis of a number of signals and elements from each individual user, such as Exchange Online email message exchanges, OneDrive for Business stored content, SharePoint Online collaboration activity and Yammer enterprise social networking interactions.

In the coming months, Delve will also be able to take into account email attachments, OneNote content and Lync Online IM and audio/video communications. The goal is to make work processes more intuitive to engage with and easier to navigate by highlighting for employees the data and connections they should prioritize. At least in theory, that should help employees focus on their most important tasks, colleagues and documents.

Microsoft plans to release more applications like Delve that leverage the Office Graph machine learning features and make Office 365 better at “understanding” each employee’s work process and customizing the user experience accordingly.

Delve is available to customers subscribing to Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3 and E4 plans; Education A2, A3 and A4 plans; and Government G1, G3 and G4 plans. Microsoft will roll it out first to subscribers of these plans that have signed up to get Office 365 upgrades ahead of everyone else, the so-called First Release option, and later to those in the Standard Release schedule. The company expects to finish this phase of the rollout by early 2015, Microsoft said on Monday.

In January 2015, Microsoft will begin to roll out Delve to subscribers to Office 365 Business Essentials, Business Premium, Small Business, Small Business Premium and Midsize Business.

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