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November 03, 2021

Microsoft announces several new chat and webinar features for Microsoft Teams

At Ignite 2021, Microsoft announced several new capabilities and improvements coming to Microsoft Teams. Microsoft has announced new chat features, webinar improvements, platform improvements, improvements to Teams Rooms and devices. The full list of new announcements can be found below.

New chat features:

  • Chat with self allows users to message themselves, such as quick ideas or reminders.
  • The chat density feature allows users to adjust the number of chat messages they see on the screen with different modes. Compact mode allows users to minimize the need to scroll up and down by placing 50% more messages on the screen. Comfortable mode keeps the chat screen as it is in Teams today.
  • The variety of responses users can add to a chat message has expanded, allowing users to choose from over 800 3D emojis, up from six currently available, to find more ways to express themselves.
  • Message delivery delay allows users to select a specific time to send a message. Similar to delaying delivery in Outlook, users can send an instant message at a time that suits them and the message will arrive at the destination at the scheduled time.
  • The new search results UI in Teams chat helps users stay informed about information they are using. Users can filter results and switch between tabs to find the information they need.

Collaboration outside organization:

  • Shared channels can be shared with individuals and teams in multiple organizations. To allow for easy access, shared channels appear in each member’s Teams tenant, alongside other teams and channels. Users can schedule a meeting on a shared channel, use Microsoft apps, and share each channel with up to 50 teams and as many organizations as needed. Multi-tenant access settings in Azure AD also allow administrators to configure granular and differentiated trusts for remote collaboration with different organizations. This feature will be available in preview in early 2022.
  • Chat users with personal Teams accounts extends collaboration support by allowing Teams users to chat with team members outside their work network with a personal Teams account. Customers can invite any Teams user to chat with an email address or phone number and stay within their organization’s security and compliance policies. This feature will be available at the end of 2021.

Webinar improvements:

  • Virtual green room allows organizers and presenters to socialize, follow the chat and Q&A, manage attendee settings and share content before the event starts. This feature will be available in preview in early 2022.
  • Improved controls for managing what attendees see to minimize distractions and keep audiences engaged during an event. This ensures that attendees only see shared content and presenters that are brought to the screen. This feature will be available in preview in early 2022.
  • Co-organizer is the ability to assign multiple organizers for webinars and meetings. Up to 10 different co-hosts can be assigned, and the co-host has the same capabilities and permissions as the organizer, allowing them to perform multiple tasks, such as managing webinar and meeting options, creating polls, and managing audio settings. This feature will be generally available by the end of the year.
  • The new Q&A in Teams feature enables a more structured Q&A experience. Organizers and presenters can highlight the best answers, filter responses, moderate and decline questions, and pin messages, such as a welcome message. Q&A in Teams is available in preview this month.
  • Isolated audio feed allows producers to create an audio mix using isolated feeds from each individual. Because broadcasters use NDI or hardware-out, they can get the ISO audio feed along with the ISO video feed from any Teams meeting. This capability is enabled in the meeting settings and will be available in preview this month.
  • Cvent, the leading event and hospitality management platform, is now integrated with Teams, allowing customers to use Cvent to manage the event lifecycle, including registration and calendar management, and deliver the virtual meeting and event experience through Teams. This feature is now generally available.

Platform improvements:

  • Enhanced features for Power Virtual Agents.
  • New partner collaboration apps, including Atlassian’s Jira Cloud and SAP Sales & Service Core, enable customers to interact with these apps through chat, channels and meetings.
  • Teams chat connectivity with Dynamics 365 sales.
  • Creators will soon be able to embed team chat functionality in apps built with Microsoft Power Apps.
  • Azure Communication Services Teams Interoperability will be generally available soon.
  • Plus, the redesigned Teams App Store, launching later this month, will make finding the right app easy and streamlined with an updated layout and experience for finding apps in Teams.

Improvements to Microsoft Teams Rooms and devices:

  • Instant Guest Joining, which allows Teams users to join meetings hosted on other meeting platforms from within a Teams space, is being expanded to include BlueJeans and GoToMeeting. This expansion builds on existing capabilities for Zoom and Cisco meetings and is expected to be available in the first half of 2022.
  • Customers can now manage Surface Hubs from the Teams admin center alongside other Teams devices. In the coming months, customers will be able to use Microsoft’s managed services to manage their Surface Hubs. It is expected to be available at the end of 2021.
  • The Yealink deskVision AIO24 joins the Teams display portfolio with a new 24-inch display that can be used as a standalone device for Teams collaboration or connected to a PC as a second display. This larger Teams display includes audio, video, a touchscreen and a native Teams display experience and can even be used to charge PCs and mobile devices. The Yealink deskVision AIO24 is expected to be available in early 2022.
  • The recently announced hot desking experience on Teams screens allows users to quickly find and reserve flexible workspaces in a shared office space. Teams displays allow users to make calls, set up ad hoc meetings, or log in to access a personalized Teams experience. Hotdesking will be available early 2022 on the Yealink deskVision AIO24 and on the Neat Frame.
  • The Logitech Tap Scheduler joins the Portfolio of Teams panels, allowing users to easily view meeting room availability, location data, and meeting details at a glance. In addition, new Teams panel features include the ability to check into a room using the panel and sensor integration that automates occupancy insights and room release, making rooms available if no one has checked in after a certain amount of time. These updates are expected to roll out at the end of 2021.

These features will be rolled out between now and early 2022.

Source: mspoweruser

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