M365 Changelog: Microsoft Teams: Front row layout for Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows

MC307657 – Updated March 04, 2022: Microsoft has updated the timeline below. Thank you for your patience.

Microsoft is updating a new Microsoft Teams Rooms meeting layout, designed to enhance hybrid meetings and provide in-room participants with greater context of what is happening across various aspects of the meeting. With front row, remote attendees are seen in the room at eye level and additional meeting experiences including chat, and a rostered view of participants with raised hands, are brought to the front of room screen. Users can select the front row layout from the layout chooser experience on the Teams Rooms console. It can also be set as the default layout or turned off altogether by device admins. Front row is available for all Teams Rooms on Windows, single and dual display modes, and across all display sizes. It’s recommended you use 1080p resolution (single/dual displays) for an optimal viewing experience. This is the initial public release of front row (preview), with enhanced features to follow later this year.

This is rolling out on Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 89065.

When this will happen:

Microsoft will begin rollout in late January 2022 and complete rollout by early March (previously late February).

How this will affect your organization:

Users using Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows can choose the front row from the layout chooser on a console and switch back to other already available layouts.

Front row from layout picker
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Front row brings meeting participants to the eye level for people in the room, and removes stacking people on top of each other to make it natural interaction. Microsoft has included a raised hand list (left panel) to promote inclusion. Meeting chat is also available (right panel) for room participants to be aware of what is happening in the meeting. In addition to this, meeting information is displayed at the top to show key meeting metadata. When content is present, it is shared in the center.

Meeting participants at eye level
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The layout is available across both single and dual Front of Room displays configurations. This allows you to use this layout for all room sizes with existing 16:9 displays. Since this layout shows more information for effective hybrid meetings, 21:9 aspect ratio and larger size displays can fit all components better.

Single and dual Front of Room configurations
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Front row layout supports spotlighted and pinned participants. The spotlighted/ pinned participants are prioritized on the left in the single Front of Room mode. In dual display rooms, the participants are promoted to the 2nd screen (right screen).

Spotlighted and pinned participants
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IT admins can also set the front row as a default layout for a room. A default layout means a layout selected by default when starting a Teams meeting. Users will be able to switch to other layouts using the layout chooser during a meeting. IT Admins also have the ability to turn off the front row if there is a need. These settings will be available from both Teams admin centers and XML configuration. These settings are available via XML configuration (later in Teams admin centers).

Please note that the layout is labeled as ‘Preview’ on the layout chooser and the Front of Room display’s right top corner as Microsoft will add more features, such as video segmentation, spatial audio, and other UI improvements in the future. Learn more the known limitation

What you need to do to prepare:

You might want to notify your users about this updated experience and update your training and documentation as appropriate.

Please check your devices meets the requirements to have the best experience. Front of Room displays need to be set at 100% scale and 1920*1080 resolution for 16:9 or 2560*1080 resolution for 21:9 display. Learn more