Microsoft’s new patent sheds light on company’s vision for an automated meetings manager

Enterprise customers make a huge part of Microsoft and the company has been working on tools to help organizations work efficiently. The company’s vision of Cortana included the digital assistant’s ability to help manage your workload. Now, it looks like Microsoft is working on a tool to help with meeting planning and preparations.

First discovered by us, the patent titled “MEETING PREPARATION MANAGER” was filed by Microsoft on 19th June 2019 and was published by WIPO on 2nd January 2020. The patent describes the problems around preparing for meetings and how a tool can help people manage their preparations for a meeting.

Often, a significant amount of time is spent preparing for these meetings. Calendars make it relatively easy to set up and track the meetings. However, preparing for meetings can be a challenge. For example, a person may need to read a document, prepare slides, get feedback from stakeholders, or perform other tasks before attending a meeting.

– Microsoft

The patent describes an automated system that can handle meeting preparations for the attendees. The technology would read the due dates, the meeting agenda and will help the attendees complete the preparations in advance.

Aspects of this disclosure provide systems and methods for managing meeting preparation for attendees. In an aspect, preparation events are associated with upcoming meetings. The preparation events are then viewable in association with the meeting or through other preparation interfaces. The technology can determine due dates and work times for the preparation events that allow the user to complete the preparation prior to a scheduled meeting. The due dates and times can be used to surface notifications and reminders of the preparation events. If a meeting is canceled or rescheduled, the due dates for preparation events can automatically be updated.

– Microsoft

The patent doesn’t mention if the new system will be a part of Microsoft’s existing tools or if the company will market it as separate software. While we have very little to go on, the tool might be handy especially for people who take a lot of meetings and might find it hard to keep track of preparations for a meeting.