Microsoft Teams regularly gets new features to improve online communication and collaboration. As of May 2023, Microsoft has added many features to the software to attract new customers and facilitate existing ones. Today, the company published a compilation of all the capabilities that it introduced in Teams in June 2023, with a total of 45 features.
The headliner this time is support for Spatial audio in meetings, supported through wired stereo headsets and built-in stereo speakers. Spatial audio can be enabled outside of a meeting, before joining a meeting, or during a meeting. Together Mode also gets a number of improvements, including name labels for various icons, the ability to see reactions and raised hands directly in view, and the option to remove your own video from gallery. Additionally, you can customize captions in meetings to change font sizes, colors, caption window size and position, and the ability to view recent captions.
A handy feature in the chat and collaboration space is the option to mark all messages in your activity feed as read, which ideally saves a lot of time collectively. Additionally, you can also configure a compact chat list that only shows the names of the people you’re working with, instead of an accompanying preview of their chat. Team users can also configure work locations to indicate whether they work from home or the office, if they prefer. Meanwhile, Teams admins can now manage external call routing for PSTN and VoIP calls efficiently for Teams Phone customers.
Next, we have updates for Teams Rooms where you can set custom backgrounds to emphasize your company’s branding – as long as you have a Teams Rooms Pro license -, Together Mode, and new option for default meeting layout controls in Team Rooms on Android, namely Content and Content + Gallery. If you’re using a Teams-certified device with a dedicated Teams button, you can press it once to go to the pre-join screen in a meeting and twice to join the meeting. If you’re running the meeting in the background, you can press the Teams button again to focus the meeting in the foreground.
In related news, several more pieces of hardware have been certified for Teams. This includes:
- Lenovo ThinkSmart Core with Lenovo IP Controller Kit for Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows
- Yealink MVC860-C5 Bundle for Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows
- Cisco Room Kit Pro for Team Rooms on Android
- Cisco Desk Pro in Teams Rooms on Android
- Poly Studio X52 and TC 10 for Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android
- Poly G7500 with Shure Microflex Large Room Bundle for Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android
- Biamp Vidi 250 room
- Vaddio RoboSHOT 30E-M HD PTZ camera certified for Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows
- Poly Voyager Surround 80 UC Headset
- SIP Gateway now supports Edge series IP Phones from Poly
- Lenovo ThinkSmart View Plus Teams display
On the enterprise front, Auto Connect will be generally available this month for frontline workers using Walkie Talkie functionality. Additionally, Microsoft Defender for Office 365 now provides a better operational security experience for Teams, including specialized insights. Team admins can also use the widget to view their Microsoft Azure consumption commitment (MACC) so they can use these credits to purchase Teams apps. There are some updates for Teams users on mobile as well: cloud files from OneDrive can now be attached directly to chat and channel, and the companion mode has been updated as well.
When it comes to platform improvements, we have Collaborative Stageview, the ability to archive Teams Control Messages via the Export API, search improvements in the Teams App Store, the ability to share an app in a chat or a channel , along with an indicator for meeting activities when they become active. There’s also a big improvement on the webinar front, allowing up to 10,000 users on a distribution list to identify and enter a lobby, which is a significant increase over the previous limit of 1,000.
Finally, speaking of Teams for Government, GCC-H customers with a Teams Rooms Pro license can use Teams Rooms on Android and Teams Admin Center capabilities, the Virtual Appointment app is now available for GCC users, and GCC High customers can now manage Surface Hubs as Teams devices from the Teams Admin Center.
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