Microsoft Continues To Enhance Teams With New Offerings

As Zoom continues to report tens of millions of daily users, Microsoft is looking to tempt people turning to the conferencing app as it beefs up its offerings. Amongst its new features will be one enabling users to have conversations and calls in separate Windows during Teams meetings. In a Microsoft 365 Roadmap document, the tech giant confirmed that the rollout is set for the beginning of June.

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Other meeting controls include allowing users to pin mute, video, chat, leave, as well as additional functions to the top of the screen. This will be enhanced by a new round of features, which will include 3×3 video, raise hands, and custom backgrounds.

For those who prefer the way things are, the updated view will be set to "off" by default though, users won't get a choice about the new view by August. Once the feature is available, users will be able to access it right away without having to update anything.

Going forward, Microsoft will also have three main update channels for Office: Current Channel, Monthly Enterprise Channel, and Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel. The company suggests users go with the Current Channel because it provides them with the latest Office features the fastest. Monthly Enterprise Channel is for those who want predictability of when new Office features are made available to users each month. And for devices/scenarios where extensive in-house testing is required before applying new features, the Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel is the way to go.

Monthly Enterprise Channel users get feature updates once a month on Patch Tuesday. While Semi-Annual Channel users get feature updates twice a year in January and July on Patch Tuesday.

The company has also announced Request-a-team, a framework that automates the provisioning process based on core teams and channel options that are relevant to optimizing usage. This enables faster response time for team requests and offers a wealth of personalization options for organizations to implement repeatable best practices on team collaboration.

In May, Microsoft updated group texts in Teams by expanding it from 100 participants to 250. These updates are set to make Microsoft Teams more competitive, especially considering it currently has over 44 million daily users.