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Microsoft Teams – Updates to Calling and Meeting

There is no doubt that one of the biggest changes at work during the Covid-19 lockdown has been the extended use of online meetings.  Whether it’s for business or personal use, the number of online meetings and calls taking place has grown exponentially over the past few months.  At the forefront of this online meeting revolution has been Microsoft Teams

Sure, most people that use Microsoft Office will have been upgraded to Teams over the last couple of years, but in truth I bet none have ever used the calls and meetings quite so much!  The tool now has around 44 million daily active users worldwide, with another 40 million users still running on the older Skype platform, that is 84 million people daily using the Microsoft network for calls and meetings.  

With that level of usage, it’s not a surprise that Microsoft are continuing their development of the primary Teams platform.  The next roll out of updates is due to start hitting users in June and this next update is one that countless people have been asking for – Meetings and Calls in a separate window to the main Teams program. 

All these people using the Teams system currently will know that when you are participating in a meeting or call it’s all within the main Teams application, meaning navigating to other data elements while still being on a call can be tricky for some.  This separation will ensure it’s a much cleaner and simple process to still navigate around your system while taking part in any meeting or call.

Is this going to change the way you use Teams to complete the calls and meetings?  Well in short it won’t, the system is all still the same, but it will just present the call or meeting in a separate window.  The meeting and call controls such as mute, video, chat, leave and others will now be located at the top of the meeting window so that they are always available and no longer hover over the main content.  There will also be a few new control features coming such as 3×3 video, raise hands and custom backgrounds. 

As is the Microsoft way, these changes will be deployed in 3 phases to all users:

  1. June – New experiences are available, and users can enable them through settings
  2. July – Experiences are enabled by default and users can disable through settings
  3. August – Experiences are enabled by default and user controls are no longer available.

So come June, if you would like to experience these new controls, simply click on your Avator in the top right of Teams and select the Settings menu.  Check the “Turn on New Calling and Meetings Experiences” box and then restart the Teams application.  You will then be ready to go. 

As with any software application, this is always going to continue to be developed.  We know there are limitations within the current update such as meeting notes being launched in the main Teams client still.  However, we also know there will be future updates to potentially address this.  We already know that the next phase of updates to Teams will be looking at full screen content viewing and Invision Freehand Whiteboard.

For the moment though, I hope you agree that this next set of updates to Teams will be a great help and make the process of meetings and calls much better. 

If you have any questions or issues with teams then feel free to speak to our Technical Team here at Cambridge Support and we’ll be happy to help.