Microsoft Updates on New Teams Features

Posted on April 9, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft 365, Office 365 with 22 Comments

With Teams use exploding, Microsoft has provided an update about the new Teams features that it announced in March. This time, Microsoft declined to provide a new figure for monthly average users, however.

“We’ve seen a new daily record of 2.7 billion meeting minutes in one day, a 200 percent increase from 900 million on March 16,” Microsoft corporate vice president Jared Spataro writes. “And as students and teachers turn to Teams for distance learning, there are 183,000 tenants in 175 countries using Teams for Education … We’ve also seen total video calls in Teams grow by over 1,000 percent in the month of March.”

Spataro also provided an update on the new Teams features that Microsoft announced in March:

Custom backgrounds, which allow you to replace your background in Teams meetings, is now generally available in Teams. “This feature builds upon background blur, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to blur the environment behind you,” Spataro notes. “In the future, we will also include the ability to upload your own custom images.”

Raised hand is rolling out globally this month. “It lets meeting participants indicate they have something to say during a meeting by clicking on a hand-raise icon in the meeting control bar,” Spataro says.

End meeting, the ability for meeting organizers to end a meeting for all participants with the click of a button, is now available. Meeting organizers will find an option to “end meeting” in the meeting control bar options.

Participant report lets meeting organizers, especially teachers, know who joined their Teams meetings. This feature will be available this month, and you will be able to download a participant report includes join and leave times for participants.

Real-time noise suppression, which uses AI to reduce distracting background noise such as loud typing or a barking dog in Teams meetings, is still coming “later this year.”

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