Time is running out to finish that slurp of Outlook Moca

Microsoft retiring the calendar board view a few short years

That didn't take long. Relatively speaking, anyway. Microsoft has drained the Moca cup for Outlook.

In August 2020 Microsoft introduced Project Moca, a central hub where Microsoft 365 users could gather and organize tasks, events, files, links, contacts, and other information collected from the myriad sources that Microsoft's code stores.

It soon found a home at Outlook on the web (OWA), where it was released in public preview as Outlook calendar board view, officially launched in 2021, and has lived a relatively quiet life ever since.

Two years later, that's coming to an end. Redmond in mid-May left a note in the Microsoft 365 message center alerting IT admins that the Outlook calendar board view was getting tossed from the options in the OWA calendar on June 26 for both Microsoft 365 commercial customers and consumers.

"In June 2023, calendar board view will be retired from Outlook.com and Outlook on the web," a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to The Register.

"When this happens, customers will no longer be able to access their boards. However, rest assured that their content (OneDrive files, calendar events, Sticky Notes, To Do tasks, emails) will remain in their account and that they will be able to access them using the respective apps. Also, board metadata can be downloaded by each user via Outlook settings (Privacy and data)."

Microsoft is reminding admins that calendar board view is being retired, adding that "when this happens, you will no longer be able to access your boards, and you will be redirected to a supported calendar view." Users will also be notified of the move through in-application notifications.

"We have made these decisions based on a variety of factors," Redmond added. "We continue to focus on creating simplicity and bringing innovation directly into the core calendar experience for our customers worldwide." There's also the suggestion from some users that Moca really wasn't everyone's cup of tea.

That said, there are some mourners posting their thoughts on Reddit. A couple said they used the calendar board view daily.

"I just started using Board view and found it to be the perfect way to bring together project and task oversight," one user wrote. "Very sad to hear it's going away."

Another wrote that they were "looking for an alternative as I use the board view throughout my day. I have my favorite folders and most used files there along with some notes. I was trying to favorite folders and files in OneDrive and found that I could not. So, am I out of luck?"

Not everyone is sad to see it go, with one person asking, "People used that feature? It was awful."

Calendar board view gives off a vibe similar to Microsoft Whiteboard and let users to organize the various pieces of information into "buckets," a concept similar to what's found in Microsoft Planner. All the information that Project Moca brought together will stay in their accounts and will be accessible via the respective apps, Microsoft said.

Users can go to the "privacy and data" section in Outlook settings to export the metadata to their boards, which can help if they want to back up links for future reference, Microsoft said. Calendar board URLS will be redirected to a supported calendar view.

Even without the calendar board view, there is no lack of options in the vast Microsoft 365 portfolio for taking notes and pulling together information, from OneNote to the new Loop app (both of which are getting the Microsoft AI treatment through the Copilot tool coming to Outlook).

Descriptions of Loop echo what Microsoft was saying about Project Moca. It's used to bring together content, tasks, and teams from across a user's tools and devices and to enable access to components, workspaces, and pages.

"With all the tools, documents, files, and links that your team needs, it's easy to feel overwhelmed," Wangui McKelvey, general manager of Azure data analytics and governance at Microsoft, wrote in March when announcing that the Loop app was in public preview.

"Microsoft Loop helps you organize everything you need for your project into a single workspace and even does the searching for you to kick it off."

Maybe Loop won't drive some users around the bend. ®

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