Microsoft takes on Zoom with new update on Teams
Microsoft Teams is upgrading the virtual platform to accommodate larger groups for meetings and classes. The platform will now be able to allow in 20,000 people to watch a presentation or discussion.
Microsoft Teams’s 20, 000 participants at a go are for a view-only meeting experience. The new update also allows attendees to chat, unmute to talk, and turn on their videos for real-time collaboration.
Teams meetings are growing to support up to 1,000 participants, up from a maximum of 250 participants currently. First, they help you feel more connected with your team and reduce meeting fatigue. Second, they make meetings more inclusive and engaging.
“As the global response to COVID-19 evolves, communities around the world have moved from an era of “remote everything” into a more hybrid model of work, learning, and life. And as we all scramble to keep up, the future of work and education is being shaped before our eyes. At Microsoft, we have spent the last few months learning from our customers and studying how they use our tools,” Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365.
the firm has also announced- the Together Mode – which will be available for users from next month. This mode makes meetings more engaging by helping you focus on other people’s faces and body language and making it easier to pick up on the non-verbal cues that are so important to human interaction.
“It’s great for meetings in which multiple people will speak, such as brainstorms or roundtable discussions, because it makes it easier for participants to understand who is talking,” Spataro explains.
The second feature – the Dynamic view – offers an extraordinary new meeting experience but it’s not intended for every meeting. Using AI, meetings dynamically optimize shared content and video participants. New controls—including the ability to show shared content and specific participants side-by-side—let you personalize the view to suit your preferences and needs.
The third feature is the Video filters which allows users to subtly adjust lighting levels and soften the focus of the camera to customize their appearance. Also introduced is the Reflect messaging extension which is based on research that shows that employee well-being is more important to productivity than ever.
The new Reflect messaging extension gives managers, leaders and teachers an easy way to check in with how their team or students are feeling — either in general, or about a specific topic like work-life balance, the status of a project, current events, or a change within the organization. IT administrators will be able to install the Reflect extension from GitHub, and then make it available to employees in their organization in the message extension menu.
In addition to the above, Teams users will soon be able to react during a meeting using emojis that will appear to all participants. Live reactions is a shared feature with PowerPoint Live Presentations, which allows audience members to provide instant feedback to the presenter.
Currently, Teams users need to manually open a chat window to view the chat screen. Soon, however, chats sent during a Teams meeting will surface on the screens of all meeting participants, making the chat more central to the conversation.
While Teams already provides live captions as a way to follow along with what is being said in a meeting, soon we will add speaker attribution to captions so that everyone knows who is speaking.
The firm also intends to launch live transcripts later this year to provide another way to follow along with what has been said and who said it. After a meeting, the transcript file is automatically saved in a tab as a part of the meeting.