Microsoft Corp. has announced on its blog that it has added new features to Microsoft Teams, a group chat competitor to Zoom. In its announcement, Microsoft outlined the new features and included screen grabs to demonstrate its new capabilities.
As the pandemic has dragged on, families, businesses and even schools have embraced group chat applications, most notably Zoom. These applications allow multiple people to converse at the same time in virtual meetings. They provide a safe way to stay in touch or to attend functions like work meetings or classroom discussions. Notably absent from the buzz surrounding group applications has been Microsoft, which was expected to dominate with its Skype application. In its announcement, Microsoft now appears ready to compete with Zoom with Microsoft Teams, a more robust application than Skype with many more features.
The new additions to Teams include changes, additions or new features in Meetings, Meeting room experiences, calling others, chatting and collaboration, integration with Microsoft 360, features for first-line and health care workers, new security features, a side application to assist with management of meetings and a power platform.
Most notable among the new additions is Together Mode, which allows team members to appear in a single virtual environment together, such as a conference room, classroom or coffeeshop. The person setting up the call chooses the setting. Also new is a custom layout feature for customizing presentations, such as allowing a person to appear in front of their datasheet, similar to a weather forecaster standing in front of a map. Microsoft has also added a breakout feature to Teams, allowing subgroups of people on a call to meet privately. The new and improved Teams also provides automatic recaps of meetings in a variety of formats and shared files—both of which can be tied to Microsoft Outlook.
As part of its announcement, Microsoft also revealed more features that are to come, such as allowing up to 1,000 people to attend a meeting, and allowing up to 20,000 people to listen or watch a meeting. The company also noted that it will very soon be launching Microsoft Teams panels, which are tablet-like panels that can be posted on walls to display meeting details, including listings of people who have logged in. And its 85-inch surface HUB display for use with Teams meetings will be available at the start of next year.
Seven ways Teams empowers every person and every organization in a new world of work: www.microsoft.com/en-us/micros … a-new-world-of-work/