Microsoft has announced a host of new features, solutions and programmes at Inspire 2022 for Teams.
The leading technology company has used the Inspire conference to showcase how they will develop the Teams platform to improve hybrid working through various features.
Microsoft has focused on further bridging the in-person meeting experience for teams by developing how users of the platform collaborate and interact with each other.
Changes to Chat
Teams can now facilitate video clips which allows users to record and send a short video message in chats rather than having to type.
Microsoft has confirmed that a public preview of the feature will be available in August before it is generally available in September.
A chat with self feature is pinned to the top of Teams user’s chat history and allows for an alternative way of staying organised and store notes in their own chat.
Expanded reactions have also been added for users to express feedback more creatively and should be generally available in August.
Microsoft has also revealed that LinkedIn integration is now available for Teams, meaning users will be able to quickly see their colleague’s LinkedIn profiles.
Details such as their current role, past experiences and other insights will be available, with the aim of allowing teams to build deeper relationships with their colleagues through hybrid working.
Teams chat is now embedded with Dynamics 365, meaning that users no longer need to switch between apps.
Once enabled, any Dynamics 365 user with a Teams license can access their chats and channels within the Teams collaboration panel right from the app.
Microsoft has announced Excel Live, which allows all Teams Meetings participants to edit the workbook in real-time, within the meeting itself.
With Excel Live supporting Sheets Views, everyone who is co-editing can filter it to their own requirements without interrupting other users.
According to Microsoft, the feature will be available for public preview in August.
Microsoft has also added Collaborative Annotations to let meeting participants draw, type or react on top of the content that is being shared in the meeting.
Collaborative Annotations is powered by Microsoft Whiteboard and can be used when the person sharing their desktop screen enables Annotation mode.
Microsoft has confirmed that the feature is now available for Teams users.
Improvements to Teams Rooms and Other Devices
Through Microsoft’s partnerships with OEM partners such as Jabra, Huddly, Logitech, Neat, Poly, and Yealink, the company is delivering on the new category of AI-powered Intelligent Cameras.
The cameras harness OEM-designed AI capabilities such as Logitech’s RightSight 2 Grid View, Neat Symmetry, Jabra’s Dynamic Composition, or People Framing from Poly which run directly on the camera.
The experiences are optimised for remote participants to allow every person in the room to be seen more clearly.
Microsoft has also put a focus on Teams displays for home offices and flexible workspaces within an office.
Now the Yealink DeskVision can be used as a standalone device for Teams collaboration or can be connected to a user’s PC as a second screen to allow for multitasking.
Enhanced Webinar Experience
Microsoft has revamped their webinar experience with a new structure and expanded options to customise registration details and settings that are specific to each event.
Features such as presenter bios, theming, capacity limits and custom questions are all set to be added to the platform.
Microsoft is yet to confirm when the feature will be generally available however, a public preview is set to be launched next month.
It will also be easier to facilitate events by assigning multiple co-organisers for additional support and adding a structured Q&A experience to drive deeper engagement.
Live Share now makes it possible for developers to make any app collaborative within the Teams meeting stage.
The feature creates a new space for users to share information or complete complex tasks and projects.
Live Share is backed by the power of Fluid Framework, which supports sophisticated synchronisation of state, media, and control actions with only front-end development.
Collaboration Controls in Power Apps means that users can drag and drop Microsoft 365 collaboration features like chats, approvals, meetings, tasks and files right inside custom apps.
The Teams Store now helps users find the right apps for them through updated categories, collections, featured top apps and intelligent recommendations.
Microsoft Modernises Communications with Teams Phone
According to Microsoft, with the newly announced Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform, customers will be able to benefit from best-in-class AI and embedded Teams experiences to allow every member of the organisation to help serve customers efficiently.
Microsoft says this addition complements the Teams Phone contact centre and compliance recording certification programs that allow customers to use partner solutions.
By the end of July, users will be able to connect a Bluetooth headset to their PC with or without a USB dongle.
The devices will be able to be used on the Teams platform, with the call control buttons on the device being able to answer, hold, end calls, and toggle mute state, while the Teams button can join a meeting or raise a hand during a Teams meeting.
Additional features coming to Teams were announced during the June 2022 update.
Microsoft added a multi-language meeting invite control to allow admins to show the information contained in meeting invitations in up to two languages.
They also released a multitasking panel to the Teams mobile experience for iPad users to allow for chats during meetings, quicker roster views, and other capabilities.