Microsoft has announced a range of new chat and meetings features for Teams at its Ignite 2022 event. The biggest news is that Microsoft plans to release some updates to improve the existing channel experience in Microsoft Teams.
For starters, Microsoft is moving the recent posts and compose box to the top of the page, making it easier for users to focus on important topics and conversations. Users will also be able to pin important announcements and pop out channel conversations. There is also a new streamlined info pane to help channel members find pinned posts and recent updates.
Microsoft Teams channels will introduce several post types to help organizations better engage with their employees. For instance, managers can create an announcement post to celebrate an important milestone. The app is also getting the ability to customize the channel header to better align with the organization’s brand.
Microsoft is adding a slew of new chat and collaboration features to Microsoft Teams. A new delete chat feature will allow users to remove themselves from a one-on-one or group chat conversation. Microsoft Teams is also making it possible to mention everyone in a group chat. It should eliminate the need to individually mention everyone to send notifications.
Later this year, Microsoft Teams chats will add new zero-state people recommendations to help users save some time and effort. Specifically, the app will ML models to suggest users to start a new chat based on their previous conversations. There is also a new feature that lets users schedule chat messages. Other updates coming to Microsoft Teams chats include video clips, expanded reactions, and suggested replies.
Moving on to meetings, Microsoft is announcing the general availability of Cameo in Teams. The feature enables users to embed their video feed into a PowerPower Live presentation. Microsoft Teams now supports Excel Live, a tool that allows participants to collaborate on spreadsheets in real time during meetings. Another important update is the ability for meeting organizers or presenters to assign seats to participants in the Together mode view and set a custom scene for all attendees.
Microsoft has added support for Mesh avatars to Teams meetings in private preview. This release allows users to create an animated version of themselves to participate in a meeting without turning on their video feeds. Currently, users can only design up to three unique avatars with the Avatars app available in the Microsoft Teams App Store.
Finally, Microsoft has announced that Teams meetings will be supported natively on certified Cisco meeting devices in early 2023. These include the Cisco Board Pro 55-inch and 75-inch, the Cisco Room Kit Pro, the Cisco Room Bar, and more. Furthermore, Microsoft’s enterprise-grade mobile calling solution “Microsoft Teams Phone Mobile” is now generally available for all customers.
Microsoft has also announced a new Teams Premium add-on for commercial customers. The new plan will bring advanced meetings and webinar features, and it will be available in public preview in December 2022.