June 17, 2021 6:29:12 pm
With over 145 million daily active users, Microsoft Teams is one of the most popular communications apps. In fact, at the beginning of the pandemic, Microsoft Teams had around 32 million users. In the past few months, Microsoft is aggressively promoting its Team app among enterprise customers. To expand the user base, Microsoft recently launched the personal version of Teams. Although Teams isn’t competing with WhatsApp and iMessage, Microsoft instead hopes to challenge Zoom and Slack. Today, Microsoft Teams is getting a slew of new features alongside brand new devices for increased collaboration.
Microsoft Teams is getting a feature called front row, a new video layout that moves the video gallery to the bottom of the screen. Through this option, in-room participants can see remote colleagues face to face as they were in the same room. The meeting content, meanwhile, will still be surrounded by components like the agenda, tasks, and notes. Microsoft says this new layout will be supported across both single and dual display configurations.
Microsoft is also adding the ability to pin or spotlight multiple video streams. The idea is to have a clear view of the selected videos in a room. Users can now share their sentiments with live reactions, while Chat bubbles make it easier to see messages during a meeting by presenting them in bubbles above video feeds.
Expansion of Teams device partners
Logitech has announced the first Teams-certified true wireless earbuds. They are designed to take advantage of the always-on Teams experience. The price and retail availability has not been announced yet.
Meanwhile, the new Jabra PanaCast 50 is a front-of-room video bar that provides a 180-degree view of the room. RightSight 2 is a new feature for Logitech Rally Bar and Rally Bar Mini that gives an inclusive meeting experience for remote users by displaying two views on the Teams meeting screen: one of the active speakers, and another that captures everyone in the room. The feature will be available later this year through a software update.
Microsoft is also adding Neat as a new Teams certified device partner. Later this year, users can experience full Team experiences on Neat’s entire lineup of devices.