Personal Features for Teams Are Available in Preview

Posted on June 22, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft 365 with 14 Comments

Microsoft today announced a set of new personal features in Microsoft Teams that are now available in preview on mobile.

“[The] need to connect, collaborate, and jointly organize our lives is why we expanded Microsoft Teams beyond work groups,” Microsoft corporate vice president Liat Ben-Zur announced. “In March, we announced new features in Teams on mobile (iOS and Android) designed to bring you closer to your friends and family. The new features start to roll out in preview to the Teams mobile app today and will be fully rolled out in the coming weeks.”

New features include:

Text chat and video calling. Now, you can stay connected with friends and loved ones through

messaging and video calling, and not just coworkers. You can create groups for chats and calls, or chat or call one-on-one. Microsoft says that it’s “goal is that Teams will become the messaging hub for all your personal chats and video and voice calls, with fun features like sharing GIFs, photos, videos, documents, and even location already integrated.” In other words, yes, Skype is on the way out.

List, document, and calendar sharing. You can now stay organized with individuals or groups by sharing lists, documents, and calendars all within the group dashboard.

Collaborate and share documents. Teams integrates with your other Microsoft 365 apps so you can easily share from Word, Excel, and PowerPoint right from within the Teams app, Microsoft notes. “Whether you’re planning your family budget or trying to prepare your kids’ summer schedules.” Documents are stored in OneDrive and can be accessed from anywhere.

Location sharing. Teams location sharing will make it easy to share your location and find family and friends.

Securely store and share information. Teams comes with a Safe that lets you securely store and share important information like passwords, rewards numbers, and login information. You can share right from the Teams app so that your family can access the home Wi-Fi password, your streaming service login, or other information, which is protected by two-factor authentication and end-to-end encryption.

“As we roll out the preview over the coming weeks, we look forward to collecting your feedback to help us evolve and improve the experience over time,” Ben-Zur adds. “General availability of the new features, as well as expanding features to the desktop and web versions of Teams, is expected later this year.”


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Comments (14)

14 responses to “Personal Features for Teams Are Available in Preview”

  1. JH_Radio

    I was about to say this sounds like a great way to emphasize teams and kill Skype in the process.

  2. brothernod

    Is Teams going to kill Sharepoint too?

  3. ph-sth

    Just downloaded Teams and tried to sign in with my Microsoft Account. It still requires a workplace account. Pointless.

    • SvenJ

      In reply to ph-sth: I was able to establish a TEAMS login with my MSA, a Hotmail account in fact. I seem to recall it offered Business, education and personal. I don't think personal worked, so I just tried one of the other two. Been a while so I don't completely recall, but I do have TEAMS on my Surface Go signed in with my Hotmail account.

  4. branpurn

    Thanks for including a link to the actual announcement in your coverage. Is it that hard, The Verge?

  5. Travelrobert

    Is this US only? I live in Sweden and can't get it to work. Even changed to the "dev-version" of Teams, to no avail. Does anyone have a workaround?

  6. xafods

    Paul. Will the Teams personal be able to communicate with Teams business accounts if the address is federated to your domain?

    • Paul Thurrott

      No idea. I'm eager to see this in real life.
    • SvenJ

      In reply to xafods: Just speculating, but my guess is, yes. That is based on a colleague with an Enterprise TEAMS account being able to invite me at my personal e-mail address. I was able to log into TEAMS as a guest, and use all functions allowed. I imagine that is an administrator function whether external guests are allowed. I understand guest isn't quite what you are thinking, but that already works.

  7. wright_is

    The problem is that the personal chat with "civilians", i.e. non-Microsoft 365 users, is about half a decade too late. Users have already settled on WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal or Apple Messenger/Facetime etc. It is going to have to bring something very special to the mix to get people to swap now.

    And inviting external guests can be an absolute nightmare, especially if they screw up the initial invitation!

    • SvenJ

      In reply to wright_is: TEAMS is really so much more than a chat, call, VTC app. It is that, plus a lot of SharePoint-ish features. I don't know if MS will get people to adopt it, but I could see some utility for busy families with shared lists (grocery, chores), calendars, etc. It could even be a nice repository for things like youth sports teams or leagues, or scout troops as a commonly accessible calendar, announcements, documents, etc.

    • olditpro2000

      In reply to wright_is:

      I agree; I can't see consumers signing up for this in droves. More likely this is the beginning of the migration off of Skype for consumers.