Microsoft is readying a 'Pro' version of its Forms survey product

Microsoft is continuing to give its business users more analytics capabilities. This time, it's via a new survey product called 'Forms Pro,' which is rolling out in preview form.

microsoftformspro.jpg

Credit: Microsoft

For the past couple of years, Microsoft has provided a survey-creation product to its Office 365 Education and commercial customers that's called Microsoft Forms. That product enables teachers, students and others to create their own quizzes, surveys, polls and questionnaires. Now Microsoft is about to start testing a new variant of Forms called "Forms Pro."

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Ricardo Diaz (@rdiazjimenez on Twitter) asked me last night if I knew about a product called Forms Pro. The Walking Cat (@h0x0d on Twitter) posted earlier today a link to Forms Pro, apparently codenamed "Shimla," which showed a new logo but no updated information about the preview. However, Tero Alhonen (@teroalhonen on Twitter) found a reference to Forms Pro on the Office 365 roadmap -- which Microsoft officials added on February 13 -- which states the preview of Forms Pro is rolling out today to Office 365 users.

Here's the description of Forms Pro on the roadmap:

"Forms Pro is a simple, yet comprehensive enterprise survey solution for businesses to capture and analyze feedback to improve how they engage across their business. With Forms Pro, you can get actionable feedback from customers in real-time at every stage of their journey, improve organizational health with real-time feedback, build the products customers want, and leverage the data and tools you already use from Dynamics 365, Common Data Services (CDS) and Power Platform. Forms Pro will adhere to the compliance, security, and privacy levels you've come to expect from Forms and other Office 365 apps. Companies can collect information without users having to go to non-secure solutions, and there isn't a need to build and maintain custom surveying tools."

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The Microsoft Power Platform is its collection of the Microsoft Power BI, PowerApps and Flow tools. Forms consumer/education customers currently can customize Forms using connectors built using Flow. It seems business users will be able to do the same. Common Data Services for Apps and Analytics are more developer-oriented services for extending and connecting Dynamics 365 CRM/ERP to other Microsoft and third-party products and services. 

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I've asked Microsoft if the company is planning to charge for Forms Pro once it exits preview. I've also asked which groups of Office 365 and Dynamics 365 users will be getting Forms Pro once it's available. No word back so far.

Microsoft made Forms available to all commercial Office 365 users last year.

Update: According to information Microsoft is sharing with Office 365 users, Forms Pro will be available (in preview, I assume) starting February 21. They also say users will be able to sign up starting March 14 at http://www.formspro.microsoft.com/ (which makes no sense; my guess is they mean February 14).

Update No. 2 (February 14): Here are a few answers to some of my questions about Forms Pro from a Microsoft spokesperson:

When will Forms Pro be available? 

Microsoft Forms Pro will be in public preview later this spring. We look forward to sharing additional details in the coming weeks.

Will Forms Pro be free or paid? 

We look forward to sharing pricing and packaging details for Microsoft Forms Pro soon.

Does this product have anything to do with the original Forms (i.e. use the same underlying technology)?

 Microsoft Forms became generally available in April 2018. Forms Pro will be the enterprise version built on the same codebase as Forms. We look forward to sharing additional details soon.