In the first meeting of the Project Cortex Office Hours series, we introduced the case for Project Cortex, gave an overview of the solution, and walked through demos of its knowledge, capture, and classification features.

Project Cortex, coming to Microsoft 365 this year, can help you empower your workforce. It puts people at the center by making it easy to discover and share knowledge within the tools they use every day. Project Cortex connects and automatically tags your organization’s content, including documents and videos, while ensuring best-in-class security and compliance. It uses AI to organize your content into a knowledge network of shared topics like projects and customers to power individual productivity and improve workplace intelligence.


View the recording, browse the deck, or walkthrough the demos to see how Project Cortex works across Microsoft 365 to empower people with knowledge and expertise.

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Recording - March 25: Project Cortex overview

View the recording of the March 25 Project Cortex Office Hours meeting

View the Teams live event recording

Presentation - March 25: Project Cortex overview

See what we presented in the March 25 Project Cortex Office Hours meeting

View the presentation

Project Cortex demos

See the latest self-service demos available for Project Cortex

Learn more

Q & A

At the end of this meeting, we fielded many audience questions. The top five questions and responses are below. Even if we don’t answer your questions on the air, we use your questions to inform our Project Cortex FAQ and technical documentation.

Q: When are you releasing Project Cortex? What’s the licensing model?

A: We’ll planning for general availability of Project Cortex this year. We’ll be making an announcement later this year where we’ll disclose licensing and packaging information.

Q: Will admins be able to turn Project Cortex on and off at the tenant level?

A: Yes, we will have a full set of admin controls as part of Project Cortex. We’ll ship Project Cortex as off by default. A tenant admin will be able to enable specific feature sets with Project Cortex, including controls for knowledge mining, the Knowledge Center, and the Content Center, as well as other experiences.

We provided more information about administration in other Office Hours meetings, including the June 3 meeting – Administration and configuration (download the invite).

Q: Are there plans to allow connections to external cloud storage into the Microsoft Graph to take advantage of document indexing or will it only be SharePoint document libraries?

A: At Microsoft Ignite we talked about Microsoft 365 as the ecosystem of content and we recognize there’s a lot of other places that you have documents stored inside of your organizations. We’re going to use the Microsoft Search connectors to bring additional content into the Microsoft Graph, which is the basis of Project Cortex. Microsoft and our partners have built more than 100 different connectors.

There’s a preview of the Microsoft Search connectors available now. Learn more and sign up on the Overview of Microsoft Search connectors page.

Q: Will the connection between Project Cortex and SharePoint exist for both modern and classic SharePoint sites? What about SharePoint on-premise?

A: We can do knowledge mining for projects and topics in content stored in modern and classic SharePoint sites. However, end user experiences for Project Cortex – like showing topic cards and topic pages – have to be in modern sites. Those experiences live in modern right now.

Project Cortex is only available for SharePoint Online. You’ll be able to use the new Microsoft Search connectors to reach out to on premises data sources and start getting that data into the Microsoft Graph.

Q: Will you be using the current SharePoint Online term store or a new tool? Will there be a migration path?

A: The Managed Metadata Service (MMS) has been upgraded both on back end and modern UX. It is now a suite-wide (across Microsoft 365) service. You won't need to migrate your existing term stores; you'll just get new powerful features.

This MMS upgrade is a major update and expansion, including modern UX for admins, and new features such as import/export and analytics.

We spoke more about MMS and Project Cortex in the May 20 meeting – Content understanding and MMS.