Microsoft Announces New Teams Features

Today, Microsoft announced a set of new features it will add to Team in the current weeks, including one that scales meeting to 20,000 participants.

“There is a broad spectrum of needs that are required to connect employees from the worksite to the main office to the home office, across locations and time zones,” Microsoft’s Nicole Herskowitz writes.  “The spectrum starts with the most basic 1:1 meetings and calls with colleagues, to larger group meetings, all the way to large events and conferences … At the other end of the spectrum, Teams modernizes 1:1 calling with a cloud-based phone system in the same Teams app that keeps you in the communications flow.”

Here are the new features that Microsoft announced:

Up to 20,000 participants in Teams meetings. Microsoft limits the size of interactive meetings to 1,000 participants, with a seamless shift to a ‘view only’ mode after the limit is met, for up to 20,000 participants.

Add company branding. Soon, you will be able to add your company’s branding to meetings for a professional look and feel. This will start with branded meeting lobbies that will launch “in the coming months” and will extend to branding the core meeting experience after that. The bad news? This feature requires an Advanced Communications plan, which can be added to any Microsoft 365 or Office 365 paid subscription. You’ll be able to trial this plan in mid-August.

Teams Calling. This new cloud-based phone system helps employees who use phone numbers to make and receive calls with customers, partners, and vendors, whether they are in the office, working from home, or some combination of the two.

Teams Displays. Previously announced, these new solutions offer “a fresh perspective on what a phone could be.” These are dedicated Teams devices with ambient touch screens, high-quality calling and video, and hands-free experiences powered by Cortana.

Extended support for Skype for Business (3PIP) phones beyond 2023. Customers can continue to use existing Skype for Business phones as they move to Teams, Microsoft says, and it will support core calling features on SIP phones from Cisco, Yealink, Polycom, and others with Teams. Support for SIP phones will be available in the first half of 2021.

Microsoft Teams phones. A new lineup of Microsoft Teams phones with physical buttons, high-quality audio, and core calling features are coming at affordable prices. “These phones are designed for common areas and basic information worker scenarios, with options available from AudioCodes, Poly, Yealink starting early 2021,” Microsoft says. “We are also expanding our portfolio to deliver new USB peripherals that have dial pads and a modern Teams user interface for heavy call users. These USB phones work out of the box, featuring a Teams button, and will connect to both a PC and Mac to bring a high-quality Teams audio experience. These will be available in late 2020 and the first of which will be shipped with Yealink.”

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Conversation 15 comments

  • behindmyscreen

    03 August, 2020 - 3:49 pm

    <p>Is Teams calling going to be cost money? We already pay for some of our users to get a meeting phone number. I wonder how this will work out.</p>

  • skolvikings

    03 August, 2020 - 5:16 pm

    <p>Teams Calling isn't new. We've been using it at our workplace for more than a year. It's through Microsoft's Phone System.</p>

    • will

      Premium Member
      03 August, 2020 - 10:40 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#558733">In reply to Skolvikings:</a></em></blockquote><p>That is what I am confused about, unless they are going to be branding it something different. Teams Calling IMO might be better vs Phone System. </p>

  • notalawyer

    03 August, 2020 - 6:31 pm

    <p>There isn’t any other way to describe this other than they are just full speed ahead with this. I still fear for “work” that may not be fit for a chat based paradigm but I desperately hope my company incorporates the phone system into this </p>

  • Vladimir Carli

    Premium Member
    03 August, 2020 - 6:43 pm

    <p>This is all interesting. I just hope that Microsoft understands that communication doesn’t only happen within a business but also with the outside world. The by far largest obstacle up to now in adopting teams for us has been that is clumsy and difficult to interact with people from other companies. These sometimes don’t use Microsoft 365. Maybe their company adopted gsuite but we still need to speak with them</p>

    • behindmyscreen

      04 August, 2020 - 7:36 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#558756">In reply to Vladimir:</a></em></blockquote><p>Guest access to a team or channel is a thing.</p>

      • overseer

        04 August, 2020 - 8:29 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#558892">In reply to behindmyscreen:</a></em></blockquote><p>It is, but pretty convoluted depending on the what kind of account that guest has and a whole lot of other variables. While admittedly, a lot of that is out of Microsoft's control, it still feels needlessly complicated and is one of the biggest support issues we deal with with Teams. </p>

      • wright_is

        Premium Member
        04 August, 2020 - 9:41 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#558892">In reply to behindmyscreen:</a></em></blockquote><p>*shudder* No, it is a torture.</p><p>One guest managed to screw up his invitation. Trying to get him another invitation is a minefield. I managed to get him re-submitted in an Exchange Group, but Teams still swears blind that his old account, which he couldn't activate, is still the active one and won't re-issue an invitation, even though all traces of his account have been deleted in the Teams management interface and the AD user pages.</p><p>The worst thing, for us, is that we use on-premises Exchange with M365 Teams, but Teams only works with M365 Exchange, which the users have no access to, so they can't invite people directly themselves.</p>

  • mmcpher

    Premium Member
    03 August, 2020 - 8:34 pm

    <p>We've been using Teams Calling on and off for awhile now, and it can be confusing if your phone and your desktop/laptop ringing at the same time. But it works and does tend to cut through the usual cell phone clutter. </p>

  • mclark2112

    Premium Member
    03 August, 2020 - 8:35 pm

    <p>So will I get to use my 400 Yealink T-48 phones with Teams now? Or early next year? That would be awesome!</p>

  • will

    Premium Member
    03 August, 2020 - 10:40 pm

    <p>So I a confused, what is "Teams Calling"? They have had Teams Phone for awhile now, so is this something new, a rebranding, or something different?</p><p><br></p><p>I love that Microsoft is investing in Teams, but I am concerned that we really do not know what the roadmap for Teams looks like. They have new stuff every month, and that is good, but there are some core items that they could improve on. App performance, UI, phone UI, PSTN features, and just overall spending time on what they have for a season.</p>

    • mclark2112

      Premium Member
      04 August, 2020 - 8:11 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#558810">In reply to will:</a></em></blockquote><p>"App Performance" </p><p><br></p><p>Holy crap Teams is a pig. It brings our fleet of Surface Pros to grinding halt if you have any other apps open.</p>

      • wright_is

        Premium Member
        04 August, 2020 - 9:37 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#558897">In reply to mclark2112:</a></em></blockquote><p>Hmm, you might want to get some professional kit then! :-D</p><p>Running it on my Lenovo ThinkPad T480 (Core i5 8th Generation, 8GB RAM), with Teams, Firefox (10 tabs), Chredge (5 tabs), Outlook, Word (1,500 page document), Excel (5 worksheets), Visual Code, TeamViewer (4 remote sessions), TeamViewer Manager and nRemoteNG (5 remote sessions open). I don't experience any real problems with performance.</p><p>I agree, Teams is a memory hog and Electron is a c**p platform, but I haven't had any performance problems with it. But I wish they'd do some real programming on it and make it more efficient.</p>

  • chrishilton1

    Premium Member
    04 August, 2020 - 3:31 am

    <p>Been using Teams calling for months, with Teams phones from polycom and yealink</p>

  • plettza

    04 August, 2020 - 5:57 am

    <p>Oh great, so Teams which now gormandises over 700MB of RAM and once used around 2GB on my tablet, will now chew through even more RAM.</p>


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