Microsoft Teams continues to evolve into the hub for teamwork, and Microsoft is excited to share new functionality that helps people do their jobs better. Microsoft has new meetings, calls, devices, chat and collaboration, IT administrator and industry features this month! Check out the new possibilities below.
What’s new: meetings, calls, and devices
Microsoft is transforming the meeting experience into Teams with new features, settings, and devices to create a better experience so you can get the most out of your meetings and achieve more together.
Large Gallery View
Being able to see all the faces of your colleagues at the same time makes a big difference in engagement and connection. This large gallery view is coming in June, preview with general availability coming soon, and extends the Grid view of Teams to 7×7, which seats up to 49 participants at a time on one screen.
Virtual brainstorming rooms
Breakout Rooms, announced earlier this month, allow meeting organizers to split their team meeting participants into small groups to support ideas, brainstorming, learning, and discussions. Teams facilitate this by assigning participants to a desired number of rooms – whether it’s automatically leading people or asking them to join. Organizers can jump between meetings – or at a participant’s request – make announcements to the individual rooms and bring everyone back to the meeting at any time. Any collaboration and co-authoring during the outbreak can be shared with the larger meeting once everyone is back together. Breakout Rooms will be delivered later this calendar year.
Multi-Window for Meetings and Calls
Multi-window experiences and bubbles come to Teams meetings. You’ll have the ability to open meetings and call in separate windows to help them optimize their workflow. These experiences can be enabled directly within TEAMS for PC and Mac clients.
The limit for team meeting participants is increased to 300 participants
To help meet rapidly changing communication and meeting needs, Microsoft raises the maximum number of attendees allowed in a Teams meeting to 300. This is widely available today.
New experience for starting direct channel meetings
Meet Now buttons in Teams channels get a new home. You’ll quickly find them in the channel head where you can easily find and start a channel meeting.
Phone numbers of PSTN participants masked from external users
For customers that have Audio Conferencing enabled for Team Meetings, pstn participants’ phone numbers are masked for all users who signed in from outside your organization. This feature will soon be available for PC, Mac, web, and mobile clients.
You can now safely connect a conversation to any other user in your organization. Safely means that if the target user does not answer the call, it calls back to the forward. The person who connects the call must be a Teams user. The person to whom the call is connected must be a Teams or Skype for Business user in the same tenant or in a federated tenant. This is often used by the front desk, administrators, operators and anyone who might be authorized to another user.
New Session Border Controllers (SBC) certified for use with Microsoft Teams Calling
The popularity of Direct Routing to connect PSTN services to Teams was amazing. One of the main ingredients are Session Border Controllers. Customers have always asked for more certified SBC options as part of their Direct Routing deployment. Microsoft is pleased that Cisco and Avaya will join their certification list.
Bose Announces New Peripherals for Microsoft Teams
Microsoft welcomes Bose into the peripheral family of Teams with the addition of Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 UC, now certified for Microsoft Teams! Bose’s new over-the-ear headphones not only allow users to enjoy their meeting without distraction, but they can also have a high-quality meeting experience, whether you’re at home, outdoors or at work. With a USB Bluetooth adapter and a Teams button that allows users to launch Teams to participate in meetings or to view voicemails, NC700UC Teams certified headphones provide users with a reliable and immediate connection to Teams. Bose’s new Team-certified headphones will be available in August 2020.
New features on Microsoft Teams phones
This month, Microsoft is excited to release new features and capabilities on Microsoft Teams phones, including the People app, and raise hands to improve parity with your Teams desktop experience.
People app to easily organize your contacts by creating and managing contact groups.
Live subtitles to see real-time subtitles in meetings (Live subtitles is currently a preview feature in Microsoft Teams and currently available in English (US)).
Raise your hand to let people know you want to contribute without interrupting the conversation.
Lock/unlock with your PC to enable a coordinated and seamless locking and unlocking experience between your Teams phone and your PC.
One-click call transfer,so you can easily connect your calls to your regular contacts with one touch.
Teams and Skype Interoperability – Last month, Microsoft announced this feature on Teams; At the end of June, users will be able to make and receive audio and video calls from Skype for Consumers (SFC) on Microsoft Teams phones.
New Teams features available for Surface Hub
The latest Surface Hub app update 0.2020.13201.0 is now available through the Windows Store. This update provides several in-demand features for the Surface Hub Teams experience.
- 3×3 Gallery View: View up to nine meeting participants simultaneously in full screen,
in the new 3×3 video grid.
- Search for external users: The “Meet Now” feature on Surface Hub now lets you find and start 1: 1 calls with federated Teams or Skype for Business users.
- Incoming PSTN calls: In addition to making outbound PSTN calls through Teams, Surface Hub now allows you to receive incoming PSTN calls.
This update is available for both Surface Hub and Surface Hub 2S.
Scheduled meetings for the free version of Teams
Free Teams users can now schedule meetings and send invitations in advance! You have the option to copy the meeting link to send, or you can send the meeting invitation from your Outlook or Google calendar. Currently, there is no time limit for meetings in the free version of Teams.
What’s new: Chat and collaboration
Microsoft has added new chat and collaboration capabilities to keep teams connected no matter where they work.
Mobile On-Demand Chat Translation Teams
Inline message translation ensures that everyone has a voice and enables global collaboration. With a simple click, people who speak different languages can communicate fluently with each other by translating and chatting posts into channels. On-Demand Chat Translation was already available on desktop and web and will now also be available on iOS.
Originally announced in June 2019, Priority Notifications for Microsoft Teams allow you to continually send notifications that are repeated every two minutes for up to 20 minutes on all messages marked as urgent. Priority notifications were made available to all Teams customers until the second half of 2020*.
Effective immediately, Microsoft has ended this promotion and made priority notifications available to all Teams customers* as a basic feature. Users can now send and receive unlimited urgent messages with priority notification.
* Priority notifications are not currently available to GCC, GCC High, or DoD customers, but this is on the Microsoft 365 Roadmap for next month.
Pulse Survey templates
During this time, many companies work remotely and need to collect information from their workforce while planning their eventual return to the office. Microsoft has designed several Microsoft Forms templates for sentiment, employee issues, challenges, health research, and more. These surveys can then be deployed through Teams channels.
What’s new: IT Admin
The Improvements of Teams Power Shell will enhance the experience of IT administrators with significant performance and resilience improvements in the modules and simplified access to their required Cmdlets with enhanced clarity of Cmdlets range.
Improvements to Teams Power Shell (PS) modules
Move the Teams Beta module to the production gallery
Centralize all Teams management modules in the same production module. Moving the beta module hosted at PostTestGallery to the same Team Power Shell production module at PSGallery (PSGallery is the default home for all Team Management Cmdlets in Power Shell). The Team Beta module is tagged with the name “Preview”. This improvement provides a simplified IT management experience by:
- Easier access to the required Cmdlets, when the module is brought to one common place. For example, “Manage Private Channels” in Teams is a required Cmdlets that was located in a Teams beta module and has been moved to be convenient in the production gallery.
- Faster time for GA – The Cmdlets are more discoverable and are handled with the full processes included in a Public Preview release.
Sophisticated technical documentation set
Based on feedback from IT administrators, we’ve refreshed and updated all Teams Power Shell documentation, making it easier to discover what’s in production versus preview and release comments for each release.
Developer and platform
Microsoft announces incoming webhooks for adaptive maps in Teams to continue to provide developers with a rich canvas to build, attract, and transform workflows.
Incoming webhooks for adaptive maps
Microsoft is pleased to announce that incoming webhooks in Teams now support Adaptive Cards and are widely available! Developers can now take advantage of the rich and flexible capabilities within Adaptive Cards to send content from their web service via incoming webhooks in Teams. Microsoft mentions that this feature has been one of the most sought-after questions in UserVoice by Microsoft’s Team developer community over the past two years, and they’re excited to finally deliver it.
Microsoft continues to implement Teams new ways to support student engagement and professional development.
Class Insights allows educators to see and understand student engagement using intelligent data analysis. You can see grades and track engagement in meetings, communications, and assignments from the entire class or an individual student. Generally available, with a new and improved dashboard to boost student outcomes, comes this fall.
Teams for the U.S. government
Microsoft is there to support the cloud of the U.S. government. These are the new opportunities for GCC customers.
Live subtitles in Team meetings
This allows meeting participants to view live captions during a Teams meeting. The supported spoken languages in this release are English (EN-US). This is currently available to GCC customers on desktop and does not yet include GCC High and DoD environments.
Allow organizers to change lobby settings for PSTN meeting participants
Each user who plans a Microsoft Teams meeting now sees a separate setting to manage the pstn participant lobby on the Meeting Options page of a particular meeting. This will be available to GCC customers.
Announce when PSTN attendees attend /leave the meeting
Each user who plans a Teams meeting will now see a new setting on a meeting options page to control the announcement sound when a PSTN/dial-in participant joins or leaves the meeting. This will be available to GCC customers.
Shifts in Teams now available to GCC customers
Shifts in Microsoft Teams enable GCC customers to transform planning management for their frontline staff. Shifts in Microsoft Teams have achieved compliance with GCC requirements guidelines and rolled out one tenant per tenant to Office 365 Government GCC.
- Please note that Microsoft will allow tenants on the product rollout list and follow the rollout with an expected 2-month general GCC availability. Administrators need to work with Microsoft to give their tenant an early spot in the queue.