October 30, 2021
Microsoft Teams Updates Whiteboard, Improves Live Transcript, and Much More
Microsoft Teams is one of the most popular communication tools for businesses and other organizations right now, especially during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. The sudden surge in interest has led Microsoft to accelerate the development cycle for Teams, to the point where dozens of new features in one month are not uncommon. Microsoft has now published a blog post on everything new in Teams for the month of October, and even if you’re afraid to log into Teams for mandatory calls, here are a few features that should get you excited.
The main new improvement this month, as highlighted in the blog post, is the redesigned Whiteboard for sketching and organizing ideas with multiple people. “With over 40 new customizable templates, the ability to insert images and shapes, and 8 new comments, you can bring people together in a rich visual collaboration workspace. Insert documents such as PowerPoint presentations and annotate with 15 new pen and highlighter colors to repeat together and bring your ideas to life.”
Microsoft has also rolled out Live Transcript support for unscheduled meetings, as long as your organization has “Allow transcription” enabled. While not quite “live”, transcripts for scheduled meetings are automatically generated in the chat screen after the meeting. Breakout rooms also got some attention this month – the configurations and participant tasks can be set before the start of a meeting (at least in the desktop Teams app) and presenters can be set up to manage breakout rooms.
Other improvements include a new overlay mode for PowerPoint presentations, support for 1:1 calling in the Safari web browser, landline calling support for more countries and services, improved viewing and editing of Visio files, and much more. You can see all the improvements in Microsoft’s full blog post, but some features are only available to organization managers.
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