Microsoft announced a bunch of exciting new Teams meetings features this summer. Let's take a look at some of the one's we feel will be most useful for small to mid-size business customers. These features should be available to everyone by the end of the year.
Teams Expands Large Gallery View
Large gallery view expands the Teams grid view to 7×7. You can see up to 49 meeting participants at once on a single screen.
Teams meetings total attendee limit has also been increased to 300 participants.
Teams Adding Virtual Breakout Rooms
We tested this new feature last week. Breakout Rooms allow meeting organizers to split their Teams meeting into smaller breakout groups. This feature is great for brainstorming sessions, small group discussions, and deeper dives on a presenter's topic.
Much like Zoom's breakout rooms ability, Teams facilitates this by assigning participants into a requested number of rooms—automatically directing people or prompting them to join.
Organizers can jump in and out of the breakout room of their choice. This can be used to provide announcements to the individual rooms and recall everyone back to the main meeting at any time.
Any collaboration and coauthoring (like using whiteboard) that happens during the breakout can be shared back to the larger meeting once everyone is back together.
Breakout Rooms will be delivered to everyone later this calendar year.
Multi-window Experiences Coming to Teams
Teams meetings and calling will be getting multi-window functionality. You'll be able to create separate windows within Teams to optimize your workflow. This feature will be available to PC and Mac users.
Teams Adds "Meet Now" Button to Channels
Teams has added a "Meet Now" button to the channel header. This makes launching an unscheduled channel meeting quicker and easier.
Scheduled meetings has also been added to the free version of Teams.
Better Pre-Join Functions Coming to Teams
Microsoft continues to improve the pre-join meeting experience for Teams. The goal is to make the discovery of audio, video, and device configurations easier to locate and set before joining a meeting.
Updates Coming to Together Mode in Teams
Together mode was a highlight of this year's Microsoft Ignite developers conference. Together mode uses AI segmentation technology in meetings to digitally place participants in a shared background.
Some users who experienced together mode this summer got a "Muppets" vibe from the view.
It was just announced last month that Together mode will be getting new scenes to choose from later this year.
Microsoft Teams Room Updates Available
Microsoft Teams Rooms app, version 188.8.131.52, is now available through the Windows Store. This update includes:
- Meeting room presentation options expanded. You can now switch between viewing the video gallery or presented content. By tapping the layout icon on the Teams Room console, you can select different views, including video gallery-only, content-only, or combined video and content.
- Raise hand. During a meeting, you can raise a virtual hand to let the speaker know you want to contribute without interrupting the conversation.
- Speaker volume settings. Device administrators can set a default volume level for in-room conferencing and system speakers.
- Direct join for Webex users. Teams Rooms and Cisco Webex meeting room devices can connect to each other’s meeting services via embedded web technologies.
- Admin Teams Room management. Microsoft Teams Rooms have been added to the list of devices that can now be managed through the Teams Admin Center.
Spotlight Ability Coming to Team Meetings
The presenter will have more control over what participants see during meetings. Meeting organizers and presenters will be able to lock their video as the main view for all meeting participants.
A participant's ability to "pin" a video feed for their own view is also available.
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