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  1. Microsoft is working on adding a spam call notification feature to the Microsoft 365 Teams collaboration platform. Once the new feature rolls out, Microsoft Teams will alert Office 365 users when they're receiving what looks like spam calls. While incoming calls will be tagged as "spam likely" automatically, Teams users will still be able to decide if they want to answer. Announced last year, rolling out in late August As Microsoft Teams General Manager Nicole Herskowitz said, "Teams will identify potential spam calls so you can feel confident answering incoming calls" and "will digitally attest outgoing calls to prevent these calls from being rejected by external recipients." "The spam call notification feature automatically evaluates incoming calls and identifies probable spam calls as 'spam likely' in the call toast," Redmond explained on the Microsoft 365 roadmap. "Users still have the option to answer or reject the call, and all 'spam likely' calls (regardless of whether they were answered or rejected) will also be reflected in the call history list." Microsoft is planning on rolling out the new feature (initially announced in December 2020) by the end of this month, making it generally available on desktop and the web. Blocking incoming PSTN calls Enterprises that use PBX (Private Branch Exchange) phone systems can already block inbound calls originating from the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), which don't match a pre-defined list of number patterns at the tenant global level. Individual Teams client users can also block PSTN calls and manage their blocked numbers by going into the "Edit blocked contacts" menu under Settings > Privacy > Blocked contacts. They can also block all anonymous incoming calls by toggling on the "Block calls with no caller ID" under "Blocked contacts." More info on how to manage your call settings in Teams (e.g., setting call answering rules and adjusting voicemail settings) is available on Microsoft's Office support website. In related news, Microsoft is rolling out later Teams end-to-end encryption for 1:1 VoIP calls until the end of this month. In July, Redmond also extended Defender for Office 365 Safe Links protection to Microsoft Teams to block phishing attempts automatically Microsoft Teams will alert users of incoming spam calls
  2. Microsoft offers more detail on auto-delete of Microsoft Teams meeting recordings We recently reported that Microsoft is planning to offer a feature where Microsoft Teams recordings will be automatically deleted after a set period unless other action is taken, a good companion to Microsoft Team’s automatic meeting recording feature. Now Microsoft has offered more detail on the feature and its rollout. Microsoft says new recordings will automatically expire 60 days after they are recorded if no action is taken. The 60-day default was chosen as, on average across all tenants, most meeting recordings are never watched again after 60 days. However, this setting can be modified if a different expiration timeline is desired. To change the default expiration days at the tenant level, there will be two methods available. You can use PowerShell to modify “MeetingRecordingExpirationDays.” This can be done at any time, as the setting is present in PowerShell today even though the feature is not yet enabled. An example command is: “Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity Global -MeetingRecordingExpirationDays 50” As this feature is rolled out, a new setting will be available in the Teams admin centre. Users (except for users with A1 licenses) can also modify the expiration date for any recordings on which they have edit/delete permissions, using the files details pane in OneDrive or SharePoint. A1 users will receive a 30-day expiration default that can be reduced but not increased. To retain recordings for longer than 30 days A1 users will need to download the file to a non-synced folder. At either the tenant or user level (excluding A1 users as noted above), the expiration timeline can range from one day to several years, or even set to never auto-expire. Additional clarifications: The expiration setting is not a retention setting. For example, setting a 30-day expiration on a file will trigger an auto-deletion 30 days after the file was created, but it will not prevent a different system or user from deleting that file ahead of that schedule. When a recording is deleted due to the expiration setting, the end user will be notified via email. The SharePoint tenant or site admin, or the end user with edit/delete permissions will be able to retrieve the file from the recycle bin for up to 90 days. Any retention/deletion/legal hold policies you have designated in the Compliance centre will override this feature. In other words, if there is a conflict between your designated Compliance policy setting and the expiration setting, the compliance policy timeline always wins. The admin does not have the ability to override end-user modification capabilities. This will not impact any existing meeting recordings created before the feature is deployed. Also, any changes to the default date in the admin console will only apply to newly created meeting recordings after the change is made. The expiration days setting in Teams is controlled only via MeetingRecordingExpirationDays. CallRecordingExpirationDays is currently being ignored. The min number of days that can be set on MeetingRecordingExpirationDays is 1 and the maximum is 99,999 (e.g. 273 years). This feature does not impact meeting recordings stored in Microsoft Stream (classic Stream) but will affect recordings stored in the new Stream (built on OneDrive and SharePoint). This feature is only available for Teams meeting recordings created by the Teams service in OneDrive and SharePoint. It is not available for other file types in OneDrive and SharePoint. What you need to do to prepare: The feature will be rolling out in late September through mid-November. If you want the default expiration to be different than 60 days, modify it via PowerShell or (once available) in the admin centre. Microsoft Teams admins can learn more about the feature in these FAQs. Microsoft offers more detail on auto-delete of Microsoft Teams meeting recordings
  3. Microsoft brings Safe Links phishing protection feature to Teams Microsoft today announced that Microsoft Teams users can be now protected using Safe Links in Microsoft Defender for Office 365. With this feature, organizations can protect their users from malicious phishing attacks. When a user clicks a URL in Teams, Safe Links service scans the URL to ensure that the link is safe with the latest intelligence from Microsoft Defender. If a link is found to be malicious, users will have the following experiences: If the link was clicked in a Teams conversation, group chat, or from channels, the warning page as shown in the screenshot below will appear in the default web browser. If the link was clicked from a pinned tab, the warning page will appear in the Teams interface within that tab. The option to open the link in a web browser is disabled for security reasons. Depending on how the Do not allow users to click through to original URL setting in the policy is configured, the user will or will not be allowed to click through to the original URL (Continue anyway (not recommended) in the screenshot). We recommend that you enable the Do not allow users to click through to original URL setting so users can’t click through to the original URL. Source: Microsoft Microsoft brings Safe Links phishing protection feature to Teams
  4. Hands-on with the new Microsoft Teams experience for Windows 11 Earlier this week, Microsoft released another Windows 11 build to Windows Insiders in the Dev Preview ring. The new build brought improvements to the UI as well as the new Microsoft Teams integration. Microsoft announced the Teams integration at the Windows 11 launch event last month. With the feature now rolling out to Windows Insiders, we decided to take a closer look at the new Teams integration for Windows 11. First time setup After you install the new Windows 11 build, you will see a Teams icon on the taskbar. Clicking on the option will open Team for the first-time setup. The setup is pretty simple. Microsoft allows you to use your regular MSA account for personal use. You can also use your work or school account if you have one and want it easily accessible. Once you select the account, Microsoft will ask you to verify ownership (if you have two-factor authentication) as well as add a phone number. This will add as a secondary username and also allow others to find you on Teams. Lastly, Microsoft will confirm the settings and ask you if you want to use your existing Outlook or Skype contact list to find people on Microsoft Teams. One thing to note here is that if you have used Windows Phone in the past or you use Outlook to sync your contacts then you will see your address book on Teams (provided you selected the sync Outlook contact list on the last step). Using the app The experience is same more or less. However, with a personal Teams account, users can now use it as way to stay connected to their loved ones. Moreover, you can now enter an email address to send a Teams message to them. This works in two parts: if the person already uses Teams, they will get a general chat notification. However, if the person you are messaging does not use Teams, they will get an email inviting them to join Teams and continue the chat. One thing that I personally believe can enhance the Teams experience is the support for SMS. While you can message people using phone numbers, they have to be in your contacts. Unfortunately, you can’t directly start a conversation with someone if they are not in your contacts. This is something that Microsoft can add in the future to allow users to start conversations by just entering the phone number of the person they want to talk to and if the person is not on Teams, they will get an invite to join the app. However, there is one way to invite others to a text chain and that is via the 'invite using link' option. As the name suggests, the option generates a custom link that can be shared with others to allow them to join a conversation. Lastly, Microsoft is also expected to merge the Meet Now feature into Teams in the feature. It will further enhance the user experience by allowing users to make audio and video calls using Microsoft Teams. Currently, the feature exists just as a placeholder button, but the company is expected to add it before Windows 11 is shipped as an update to existing Windows users. Hands-on with the new Microsoft Teams experience for Windows 11
  5. Microsoft offers more detail on rollout of Variable Playback Speeds for Microsoft Teams Meeting Recordings Microsoft Teams users will soon be able to review Microsoft Teams Meeting recordings more easily, when Microsoft delivers variable playback speed options for the recordings. The feature will be available for recordings stored on OneDrive & SharePoint and users will have the option to play from half speed to 2x speed, allowing you to focus on important sections while speeding to slow sections. Microsoft has now offered more detail on the rollout of the feature. For Targeted Release Microsoft expects to begin the rollout in early August and be fully rolled out by approximately early September. For General Availability Microsoft expects to begin the GA rollout in early September and expect that release to be fully rolled out by approximately late September. Users will see an icon in the bottom right corner of Teams meeting recordings that opens the Playback speed menu. This menu contains options for slower speed (0.5x), normal speed (1x), and faster speed (1.2x, 1.5x, 1.8x, and 2.0x). The setting that a user chooses will persist for the duration of their browser session; they can change it at any time using the Playback speed menu. Microsoft notes that watching a Teams meeting recording at a playback speed greater than 1 is a great way to save time and be more productive. Microsoft offers more detail on rollout of Variable Playback Speeds for Microsoft Teams Meeting Recordings
  6. Microsoft has started testing Teams integration in Windows 11 today When Microsoft announced Windows 11 on June 24, it stated that its Teams software will have deeper integration with the OS. While this capability hasn't been enabled for Insider builds released since June 28, the company is finally ready to start testing it now. Starting today, select Insiders will be able to test a new Teams integration present in Windows 11, which currently allows them to sign in, add contacts, collaborate via individual and group chats, and make use of the Chat flyout from the taskbar. Insiders can simply click on the Chat icon on the taskbar or press Win+C to open a list of their recent chats, regardless of which app window they have open right now. From there, they can also click on the "Open Microsoft Teams" option in the Chat flyout to launch the full desktop experience. It is also possible to reply inline to chat notifications, which have been natively designed on Windows 11. Existing contacts can be synced from Skype or Outlook while new ones can be added by directly sending them a message to their email address or phone number. Similarly, you can invite people to group chats and video calls using URLs that can also be shared via email. Microsoft says that the Teams experience has been tailored to Windows 11, and can be utilized across any device running the OS. Multi-tasking features work across Teams and other apps, and the visual design of the software follows the design elements of Windows 11, such as rounded corners. That said, there are a few limitations as well. Currently, Chat from Microsoft Teams is localized only in English (US), it does not have any offline capabilities, and does not support Teams' complete native feature-set yet either. Furthermore, syncing contacts from Outlook or Skype may take up to 24 hours and if the contact has multiple email IDs or phone numbers, only the primary one will be shown. At times, the Chat flyout might get stuck in its open state as well. In such cases, Microsoft recommends that you toggle the following setting off and then on again: Settings app > Accessibility > Visual Effects > Animation Effects. It is important to note that the Chat from Microsoft Teams flyout is being rolled out to Insiders on a staggered basis, and may not be available to everyone just yet. A reboot of the device is also required in order to see the capability in the taskbar, provided that you have been selected to test it from today. Microsoft has started testing Teams integration in Windows 11 today
  7. Apps for Microsoft Teams meetings are now supported on mobile It has been particularly tough navigating the remote working landscape in the ongoing pandemic for a number of organizations and individuals. While apps such as Microsoft Teams have enhanced online collaboration, there is still work to be done. Now, Microsoft has announced that Teams apps built for meetings can now be utilized in Android and iOS. Teams offers apps and activities like Kanban boards, actionable dialogs, and surveys to engage users between pre-, in-, and post-meetings experiences. This capability was announced for desktop PCs back in November, but was not available on mobile devices until today. Now, it is being rolled out for Android and iOS devices as well. The mobile experience is similar to desktop. Meetings apps can be accessed from a tab before or after the meeting. If you want to interact with apps during the meeting, there is an in-meeting panel you can utilize for this purpose. Furthermore, Microsoft has introduced a new notification for all activities that take place during the meeting. You can click on "View" on the notification banner to drill down to granular details about the activity. This parity with desktop will certainly please those who actively utilize their mobile devices for work. That said, Microsoft has cautioned that apps will need to be attached to the meeting via desktop by the organizer themselves. Furthermore, not all apps are available for mobile devices currently, but third-party developers will be optimizing their apps for mobile use on a rolling basis. Users looking to utilize this functionality can do so by updating to the latest version of Teams on Android and iOS - version 2021031702 and 2021032701 respectively. Apps for Microsoft Teams meetings are now supported on mobile
  8. Microsoft Teams is getting a whole new look for Windows 11 Teams 2.0 removes the address bar and main menu to look more like a native app Ahead of the release of Windows 11 later this year, Microsoft is working on a redesigned version of Microsoft Teams for the next version of its operating system that will also work on Windows 10. First announced during the software giant's Windows 11 event, the major update to its video conferencing software is currently being referred to as Microsoft Teams 2.0. The biggest difference between the existing Teams client and this upcoming one is the fact that Microsoft Teams 2.0 is based on Edge WebView2 instead of Electron which will allow Microsoft to use embedded web technologies such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript along with the Chromium rendering engine. At the same time, Teams 2.0 will no longer use Angular and will instead now use the open source front-end JavaScript library React.js. Microsoft Teams 2.0 As reported by Windows Latest, Microsoft's new Teams client is built around Microsoft Teams for the web though it doesn't look that different from the existing app or website. However, since it uses Edge WebView2, Teams 2.0 no longer has an address bar and users will be able to run the app in a separate window as they could with the old app. The browser's extension and main menu have also been removed in the new client to give it more of a native app-like experience though traces of Microsoft Edge can still be found when right-clicking anywhere in the app. Based on Windows Latest's tests of Teams 2.0 in a preview version of Windows 11, the news outlet observed that the app is now significantly faster on desktop and runs better on low-end devices. Microsoft Teams 2.0 also uses less memory and performance is slightly better as well. The app now launches instantly and Teams users will no longer get stuck on the loading screen as a result of Microsoft Edge background processes and the inclusion of WebView2. Unlike the old client, the Teams 2.0 app window can now be resized and the interface scales alongside it automatically. Microsoft has also added integrations with native notifications and other Windows 10 features. While many features are now available in the new client, advanced controls are still missing which limits the functionality of Together Mode and prevents users from changing Teams' noise cancellation features. Microsoft Teams 2.0 already looks to be a welcome upgrade though Microsoft plans to enable support for additional features such as multiple accounts and improved PowerPoint integration in the coming weeks before officially announcing its new Teams experience. Via Windows Latest Microsoft Teams is getting a whole new look for Windows 11
  9. New Edge-based Microsoft Teams desktop app leaks At Microsoft’s Windows 11 event the company announced that they were working on a new version of the Microsoft Teams desktop app based on Edge WebView2 and React.js. WindowsLatest has managed to get their hands on the client, and posted some screenshots which can be seen below: The in-development app is based on the web client, but appears to be faster than the Electron-based current version, required fewer resources, launches faster, uses less memory, is more adaptable to different screen sizes and will be always up to date. It is however not complete, with users for example being unable to adjust noise cancellation and together mode is not fully working yet. It is also still obvious that the client is based in Edge, for example right-clicking on the app brings up the Edge right-click menu. Microsoft is also still working on Powerpoint integration and multi-account support. The new Teams client will be exclusive to Windows 10 and 11 and does support native OS notifications. It is not yet known when the updated app will be rolling out. New Edge-based Microsoft Teams desktop app leaks
  10. Push to Talk coming soon to Microsoft Teams In March Microsoft promised to deliver Push to Talk walkie-talkie type functionality to their Microsoft Teams app on mobile, saying: Walkie Talkie Walkie Talkie, a push-to-talk experience that enables clear and secure voice communication over the cloud, enables teams to communicate instantly and always stay on the same page. This native built-in app in Teams turns employee or company-owned Android smartphones and tablets into a walkie-talkie, reducing the number of devices employees must carry and lowering costs for IT. Available in GCC. The feature was initially only available to government users but a new Microsoft 365 roadmap entry suggests it will be coming to everyone in the near future, with Microsoft saying: Microsoft Teams: Paging on Teams phones Like traditional walkie talkies, the Walkie Talkie app on your Teams phones provides an instant push-to-talk (PTT) communication for your team. It allows you to press and hold a button to speak to your team, and release the button to listen. Users can connect with their team using the Teams channels. General Availability, Worldwide (Standard Multi-Tenant), Microsoft Teams Android Release: September 2021. The feature will send a voice message to your channel when you press the microphone in the walkie-talkie tab. On rugged devices, companies may add a dedicated hardware button to make the feature more accessible. Look forward to the roll-out of the feature in the next 8 weeks. via Techradar Push to Talk coming soon to Microsoft Teams
  11. This is how Microsoft plans to entice Windows 11 users into using Microsoft Teams for Friends and Family Microsoft plans to integrate Microsoft Teams into Windows 11, with the users being able to chat directly from the taskbar. The question of course remains of how Microsoft intends to entice users to sign up for another network, when they have much the same features from Facebook or Google Plus. Windows hacker Albacore has the answer, with screenshots of the OOBE for the Microsoft Teams taskbar chat client: The images are notable for their friendly, decidedly non-businesslike iconography, reminiscent of the heydey of Windows Live, and it is also notable that the feature will require downloading the full Microsoft Teams client, with Albacore noting the Teams app is not very deeply integrated into Windows 11 at all, with most of the features powered by the separately downloaded main app. It still seems unlikely that grandmothers will switch from Facebook to Microsoft Teams for their daily social fix. What do our readers think? Let us know below. This is how Microsoft plans to entice Windows 11 users into using Microsoft Teams for Friends and Family
  12. Friday gift: Microsoft Teams bugs puts calls directly in voicemail A Microsoft Teams change is causing calls to go directly to voicemail, much to users' happiness worldwide. At approximately 3 PM EST today, Microsoft tweeted that a bug is causing Microsoft Teams calls to go straight to Voicemail. A later tweet says that a recent change caused the bug and that they are rolling back the change on their infrastructure. While admins may be happy that the bug is being fixed, Microsoft Teams users worldwide look at this as a Friday gift instead. Microsoft Teams administrators can track this incident under TM261472 while Microsoft rolls out the fix. Friday gift: Microsoft Teams bugs puts calls directly in voicemail
  13. Microsoft Teams hit by a bug, wants users to select a certificate [Update] Microsoft Teams seems to be experiencing a bug since this morning. A recent update seems to have caused a "Select a certificate" prompt to be displayed to Teams users before they can use the software. The issue shows up when the service tries to reach us-prod.asyncgw.teams.microsoft.com while signing into the service. The prompt displays to users even before they can log in to use the software. Microsoft has acknowledged the bug and is tracking the issue under the 'TM261228' advisory, where the company said: "We've determined a recent deployment, designed to improve service performance, is inadvertently causing impact. We're reverting the update while we monitor the affected environment to validate that it resolves the issue." Microsoft Teams users in Brazil, Costa Rica, APAC, EMEA, and EU are reported to be receiving the errors. However, Microsoft says only those users served through the infrastructure in North America are affected. Some users have been able to use the service by restarting the Microsoft Teams client. Update: Microsoft has tweeted that it has reverted the update that caused the issue and can confirm that the service is restored and functional. Source: Microsoft via Bleeping Computer Microsoft Teams hit by a bug, wants users to select a certificate [Update]
  14. Microsoft Search will soon be able to find Teams meeting recordings based on what was said Microsoft is in the process of moving Microsoft Teams meeting recordings to OneDrive and SharePoint, and that is bringing a number of advantages. One of them is that users will soon be able to find a meeting recording based on what was said in the meeting using Microsoft Search. Previously, Teams meeting recordings were only searchable based on the Title of the meetings. You will now be easily able to find Teams meeting recordings based on not just the Title of the meeting, but also based on what was said in the meeting, via the transcript, as long as Live Transcription was enabled. Note however that only the attendees of the Teams meeting will have the permission to view these recordings in the search results and playback the recordings. These meetings will now be discoverable in eDiscovery as well, via the transcript. If you don’t want these meetings to be discoverable in Microsoft Search or eDiscovery via transcripts, you can turn off Teams transcription. The feature is rolling out in mid-June as a targetted release and late June for a standard release, with the roll-out expected to be completed by early July. Microsoft Search will soon be able to find Teams meeting recordings based on what was said
  15. Microsoft is improving the Large Gallery view in Microsoft Teams for iOS and Android Microsoft has announced that it will be improving the “Large Gallery” layout for meetings on Teams mobile. The view will become mobile-optimised, letting you easily swipe through all the participants in a meeting. The view now supports up to 10 participants per page on both phones and tablets. The improvement is coming to both iOS and Android, but only iOS devices with iOS 13 and above and Android devices with Android 9 or with 4GB of RAM and above will benefit, with handsets with the older version of the OS seeing the earlier experience. The update will be rolling out on the Teams iOS and Android app starting in mid-June and the rollout is expected to be completed in late July. Microsoft is improving the Large Gallery view in Microsoft Teams for iOS and Android
  16. Microsoft Teams calls are getting end-to-end encryption in July Microsoft Teams is getting better security and privacy next month with the addition of end-to-end encrypted 1:1 voice calls. While Microsoft Teams already encrypts data at rest and in transit, it allows administrators to configure automatic recording and transcription of voice calls. Due to this, Microsoft Teams calls are not suitable for sharing very sensitive information that should remain private between two individuals. Starting in July, Microsoft Teams is getting end-to-end encryption for 1:1 VoIP calls so that their discussions remain entirely private. "Teams will support an option to use end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for ad hoc 1:1 Teams VoIP calls, providing an additional option for conducting sensitive online conversations," Microsoft revealed today in the Microsoft 365 roadmap. Microsoft says that they will allow Microsoft Teams administrators to configure who has access to this feature to support their particular organization's security and compliance policies. As reported by MSPoweruser, this feature can be enabled by Microsoft Teams administrators for specific users or the entire organization. Users can then enable end-to-end encryption by enabling the 'End-to-end encrypted calls' setting under Settings > Privacy. Microsoft Teams End-to-end encrypted calls setting Source: MSPoweruser When end-to-end encryption is enabled, certain Microsoft Teams features will no longer be available, such as recording and transcription. This feature will be a welcome addition as it allows the sharing of sensitive information, such as passwords, bank accounts, or other confidential information, without fear that they will be stored in recordings. In October 2020, Zoom began supporting end-to-end encryption for meetings with up to 200 participants for both free and paid users. Microsoft Teams calls are getting end-to-end encryption in July
  17. Microsoft Teams for personal use is now generally available with features for family and friends Teams isn't just for work anymore. Use it with your family and friends too! What you need to know Microsoft Teams for personal use is now out of beta. Features group and video chats, a shared dashboard, and more. It's available today on iOS, Android, PC, and Mac. Source: Windows Central Last year, Microsoft unveiled a new version of Microsoft Teams built specifically for friends and family. It was a version of Teams that wasn't for work, built around personal use with features such as shared family calendars, group text and video chats, and more. Today, Microsoft is announcing that Microsoft Teams for personal use is now out of beta and generally available on PC and mobile. Microsoft highlights several key features as part of Microsoft Teams for personal use that differentiates it from other services that can be used for friends and family communication. Features such as Together Mode, which puts you and other call participants in a virtual environment, allowing you to sit alongside friends and family just like real life. Source: Microsoft Teams also has live emoji reactions and gifs, which adds plenty of flair to group chats. Because this is Microsoft Teams, there are also several productivity-focused tools that are aimed at keeping you and your family or friend groups organized. With shared calendars, to-do lists, polls, and the ability to share documents, Teams makes it easy to manage social groups with ease. Parents can also use it to keep in touch with their children, as well as track their location to make sure they're safe and where they are supposed to be. The dashboard view organizes all of your group chats shared contents, including photos, files, web links, and tasks. Microsoft also says you can invite up to 300 people for events like as a virtual wedding. Microsoft Teams for personal use is available now, and can be accessed by downloading Teams and logging into your personal Microsoft Account on PC or Mac, iOS, and Android. There's also the web app, which does the same thing. What are your thoughts on Microsoft Teams for personal use? Let us know in the comments. Source: Microsoft Teams for personal use is now generally available with features for family and friends
  18. Microsoft Teams is getting Live Transcription support for unscheduled and channel meetings Microsoft is planning to expand the AI-powered Live Transcription feature to unscheduled and channel meetings in Teams. Indeed, the company recently added new entries to the Microsoft 365 Roadmap, indicating that these updates are coming to Teams meetings in July (via Neowin). Microsoft Teams launched the new Live Transcription with speaker attribution feature for meetings in March this year. Currently, the transcription capability is only supported on the Teams desktop app, and it is available for scheduled meetings. It identities each speaker, captures audio in near real-time and then generates a transcript of everything that's said by the participants. The transcription can be accessed both during and after the meeting. Next up, Microsoft Teams is adding Together Mode for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) this month. This means that users using the Teams desktop client in virtualized environments will be able to enable Together Mode during meetings. The feature uses AI to segment the face and shoulders of the participants and place them together with other people in a virtual space. Finally, the desktop version of the app is set to receive new Power Automate templates. It will enable managers to create teams quickly with predefined channels and preinstalled apps for effective collaboration. This update will begin rolling out to all users at some point later this month. Source: Microsoft Teams is getting Live Transcription support for unscheduled and channel meetings
  19. Microsoft announces Reading Progress for Teams for education Microsoft Teams offers a wide range of tools for educators and students already, and Microsoft today announced another major new feature specifically aimed at younger children, called Reading Progress. As you can probably infer from the name, the purpose of the feature is to help children with their learning process when it comes to reading and pronunciation, a skill that's been harder to train over the past year due to remote learning becoming much more prevalent. In fact, Microsoft points to a recent study from Stanford University showing that oral fluency among second- and third-graders was roughly 30% behind expectations during COVID-19 times. Reading Progress in Teams will make it possible for educators to create reading assignments, which students can then practice and record in video and audio format so that teachers can review their progress on their own time. Teachers can point out different types of errors in the pronunciation and grade the overall recording, helping children focus on the areas where they may struggle the most. The feature is now in private preview, and as of right now, teachers can create assignments by uploading a Word document to serve as a reading passage. Support for PDFs is coming in the summer, and Microsoft will also be introducing a partnership with ReadWorks to make curated reading assignments available in Teams. Educators can set attributes like the reading level, the genre of the text, and whether a video recording is required (or just audio). Then, students get the assignment with the ability to record audio or video, depending on the teacher's set permissions, and Microsoft has even brought some of the benefits of Immersive Reader into the experience, so students can more easily follow along with the text. Once the recording is submitted by the student, Teams can preemptively grade the reading progress of the student, highlighting potentially misspelled or mispronounced words, phrases where the student corrected themselves, and so on, giving teachers an idea of what to look out for the most. This data is then all pulled into Insights, which helps teachers visualize a student's progress, such as their accuracy and words-per-minute rate over time. This data can also be shared with others, such as literacy coaches, to further help students achieve fluency. As mentioned above, Reading Progress is in private testing with select educators, and it's already supported on pretty much every platform where Teams is, including the web. However, video recordings aren't yet available on Android and iOS, but that's planned for this summer. Microsoft hopes to have Reading Progress ready for general availability in late August, in time for the next school year. Source: Microsoft announces Reading Progress for Teams for education
  20. Microsoft details the improvements made to Teams in April Microsoft today detailed all the features added to its Teams collaboration service in the month of April, providing information on updates made to the various features and capabilities. These include improvements to Breakout rooms, polling, Teams Rooms improvements and updates about new devices, mobile app updates, and much more. Starting things off are updates to the Breakout rooms feature. The tool now lets organizers reassign users to different rooms even if they are open. These assignments also persist across multiple sessions, helping organizers save time on assigning users to various rooms. Other meeting improvements include the option to set invite-only meetings, where uninvited attendees are sent directly to the lobby. The tool is introducing new policies to limit users with revoked scheduling permissions from using old meeting links. Polls in Teams is also gaining a few new capabilities, including support for mobile polls, new text-only or multiple-choice options, and more. These were announced yesterday as part of the Microsoft 365 monthly roundup. Other enhancements to improve meetings include better audio controls that allow organizers to mute and unmute individual attendees, support for non-AAD account holders in Live events, and new custom backgrounds on the iOS app. Next up are changes made to improve the chat experience. Teams now finally supports native Windows notifications, as the tool now allows users to choose between Teams’ built-in style and the native OS prompts from the notifications’ settings. For the mobile versions of the app, the company is introducing some visual upgrades that include new headers, icons, and overall styling. It is also adding automatic dark and light theme switching based on system settings. Other minor additions include support for filtering chats or pinning them, which will roll out to Android devices soon. The Redmond firm is also detailing a bunch of updates to Teams Rooms, which interested users can check out listed in the blog post. The company also recapped its new Teams certified accessories such as the Microsoft Modern USB & Wireless headsets, Surface Headphones 2+, Modern USB-C Speaker and Modern Webcam. There are also new devices from Poly, Yealink, and Audiocodes. Lastly, there are a bunch of improvements for IT admins to help improve manage the service such as anonymous usage reports, branding and template improvements, and more. Features for Frontline workers and Government customers have also been detailed in the post. Source: Microsoft details the improvements made to Teams in April
  21. Microsoft Teams usage jumps to 145 million daily active users Teams continues to grow a lot during the pandemic Microsoft now has 145 million people using its Microsoft Teams communications app. This is another increase of 26 percent since Microsoft revealed Teams usage had jumped during the pandemic to 115 million daily active users in October 2020. Usage of Teams has spiked over the past year, with businesses continuing to flock to services like Teams, Slack, and Zoom. To put the 145 million figure in perspective, at the beginning of the pandemic, Microsoft had around 32 million daily active users of Microsoft Teams. That jumped to 75 million in a matter of weeks, and these numbers have more than doubled since even the early days of the pandemic. It’s an impressive amount of growth, just as Microsoft has been aggressively pushing businesses to move to the cloud and adopt Teams over the past year. #MicrosoftTeams now 145 million daily active users - thank you to customers, partners, and team — Jeff Teper (@jeffteper) April 27, 2021 As always, it’s difficult to compare to rival services. Google and Zoom don’t reveal daily active users and opt for a more vague daily active participants. This means a single user could be counted multiple times if they participate in different meetings during a day. Zoom revealed it had 300 million daily active participants last year, and Google said last year it had 100 million daily active participants. Slack revealed it had 12.5 million concurrent users during the beginning of the pandemic last year, but the company has shied away from daily active user counts ever since. Microsoft’s explosive Teams growth might explain why the service has experienced troubles this year. Teams went down worldwide for many users for two hours this morning, after a similar outage earlier this month and connectivity issues last month. Source: Microsoft Teams usage jumps to 145 million daily active users
  22. Microsoft Teams: This new look for your meetings has just arrived Microsoft has now released Dynamic View to improve video meetings when slides are being shared. Microsoft has released its Teams Dynamic View feature as a public preview after teasing the feature back in January. Dynamic view is intended to make video meetings in Teams better by automatically resizing shared content, such as slides, and video participants' faces. "Dynamic View ensures that important items like audio/video thumbnails, content, pins/spotlights are shown as large as possible on your screen by smartly moving and resizing them based on the scenario," Microsoft said in a blogpost. Microsoft's 'before and after' images demonstrate that video participants faces are now located in a grid on the right hand side of the screen, next to a slide, rather than below the slide. The slide itself is slight larger too. Meeting participants can also pick particular people to focus on during the meeting by pinning them. This displays that participant in a larger space. Also, Microsoft has adjusted Together Mode to enlarge the size of the video so that participants can see each others' faces more easily. Microsoft introduced Together Mode in teams last year using artificial intelligence to superimpose all participants into a shared space, such as an auditorium. Microsoft officials believe Together Mode will help alleviate virtual-meeting fatigue and make meetings feel more real. Finally, users can 'dock' meeting participants at a spot on the top of the screen, above shared content. This should help improve the impression of eye contact with multiple people on a video meeting. Eye contact is a challenge that Apple was working on before the pandemic solve on the iPhone via FaceTime Eye Contact. Apple used augmented reality to address the issue of people's gaze being directed at the screen rather than the front-facing camera, resulting in a subtle eye contact misdirection. Obviously that was when most video calls were just one-to-one meetings. Microsoft worked on the same challenge for video meetings on the Surface Pro X. Now that Dynamic View in Teams is available in public preview, meeting participants should see the Dynamic View experience by default if they have the public preview option enabled. The feature is available for the Teams desktop app on Windows 10 and macOS, but not iOS, Android or the web version of Teams in browsers. Dynamic View arrives alongside several well-being features Microsoft has rolled out to Teams, including its new virtual commute. Source: Microsoft Teams: This new look for your meetings has just arrived
  23. Microsoft Teams will soon get Breakout Rooms improvements and better bandwidth management Microsoft is working on a bunch of new features that will allow users to have better controls over the Breakout Rooms feature that was introduced to the platform last year. The Redmond giant recently updated its roadmap webpage with new entries pointing at the upcoming improvements to the Breakout Rooms feature. Firstly, Microsoft is working adding extended management support to Breakout Rooms. The feature will allow an organiser to extend the management of Breakout Rooms to specific presenters. This should be great for an office setting where multiple people present during the course of the meeting and may require controls to Breakout Rooms. Not only that, but Microsoft is also working on UX improvements that will help organisers with the management, sorting and assignment of participants. Both the features are expected to roll out to Teams users in June 2021. Furthermore, Microsoft is also working on support for pre-meeting Breakout Rooms creation. This will allow an organiser to assign participants to Breakout Rooms before the start of the meeting. The feature is expected to roll out to Teams users in May 2021. Lastly, Microsoft is working on improving the bandwidth limit feature. The company recently added support for bandwidth management to Teams allowing users to use less data if they are on a metered connection. The company is now working on a feature that will allow admins to manage bandwidth for the organisations. Microsoft notes, the feature is intended for people who travel to locations with limited connectivity. As the feature relies on geo location data, the bandwidth limit will be applied only when a user is in a certain location. Microsoft is planning to rollout roaming bandwidth control to Teams users in May 2021. Apart from the aforementioned features, Microsoft is also working with third-parties to make electronic attestation easier as well as add support for replies to individual messages. Moreover, the company will soon allow users to lock meetings, set Breakout Room timers and more. Microsoft has also added multiple new entries to Microsoft 365 Roadmap that are aimed at improving the polls feature by using AI and the company is working on letting users spotlight up to seven users and translate PowerPoint slideshows. Source: Microsoft Teams will soon get Breakout Rooms improvements and better bandwidth management
  24. Microsoft Teams gets support for Live transcription with speaker attribution Microsoft today announced the availability of live transcription in Microsoft Teams meetings for English (US). This feature also supports speaker attribution. After the meeting is over, the saved meeting transcript will be available for reference and download in Teams for desktop and web. Availability details: Live transcription with speaker attribution is available for scheduled Microsoft Teams meetings (in U.S. English) to our public cloud customers with licenses for Microsoft 365 E3, Microsoft 365 E5, Microsoft 365 Business Standard, and Microsoft 365 Business Premium SKUs. Live transcripts for channel and Meet Now meetings will be coming soon. Source: Microsoft Source: Microsoft Teams gets support for Live transcription with speaker attribution
  25. Microsoft Teams update is rolling out with new dark UI, Fluent Design icons Microsoft has been working hard on enabling Fluent Design for Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 products, and it’s now started rolling out new icons for Microsoft Teams with version 1.4.00.4167. As part of the redesign, which Microsoft calls “Fluent Design” or “modern design”, Teams for Windows 10 is getting updated with new rounded icons for various buttons, such as conversation, meeting notes, participants and more. In addition to Fluent Design icons, Microsoft Teams is also getting a darker dark theme, which is activated automatically if you’re already using dark mode. The update appears to be rolling out in phases, with users first getting access to the new dark mode and then new icons. This update also includes new background colours and styling changes for Windows, macOS and all web browsers. As you can see in the above screenshot, Microsoft Teams now features a subtly tweaked dark mode, which is now darker (black). Microsoft has also updated the background colours and the bright purple colour has been removed from Teams dark version The left navigation pane now uses Fluent Design drop shadows to enable modern appearance and the effect is apparently more visible in the light theme. In addition to styling changes, Fluent Design icons with rounded corners are now available as well. These changes were first introduced in January in the new Public Preview of Teams – a new program that the Redmond firm launched early this year to test bigger changes with a group of enthusiasts. Microsoft Teams polls integration to get even better Later this month, Microsoft is also planning to start rolling out new features for the built-in polls tab in Teams. One of the new features is ‘intelligent poll suggestions’, which has been designed to help organizers create polls optimized for the current meeting and improve engagement in Teams. Plus, there’ll be a new optional feature to add text answers in polls. Source: Microsoft Teams update is rolling out with new dark UI, Fluent Design icons
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