Microsoft Teams brings out new hybrid work features

With an aim to boost hybrid work, Microsoft on Thursday unveiled its roadmap to bring more new capabilities to its Teams platform to support hybrid work scenarios over the coming months.

“Today we are announcing new innovations — in Rooms, Fluid, and Microsoft Viva — all designed to empower your people for hybrid work,” the company said in a statement.

In May this year, Microsoft circulated a video showing off how hybrid meetings might look and feel in the future, based on Microsoft’s research.

That video showed off how Teams Rooms capabilities could work in differently sized and scaled spaces, like a focus room, medium space and large space when using intelligent speakers, cameras, and large-screen displays like Teams Panels and Surface Hubs.

The company also shared more Teams Meetings and Teams Room features that will be rolled out over the course of calendar 2021.

These include a new “Front Row” feature in Teams Room that’s meant to make meeting interactions between virtual and in-the-room meeting participants more immersive and natural.

Microsoft is moving the video gallery to the bottom of the screen so remote participants are fact-to-face with people in the room. Teams Rooms will use new video layouts that disperse the video gallery across multiple displays when content isn’t shared.

The company also showed off its updated digital Whiteboard, which allows all attendees to access the same digital canvas by allowing anyone to bring existing content to the whiteboard for co-authoring.

New templates also are coming that will aim to help groups start creating content more quickly, to follow along with contributors and more.

Microsoft said some of the features coming to the next version of Teams on Surface Hub, its large-screen conferencing system.

The company plans to bring more Teams desktop features to Teams on Surface Hub, such as Together Mode scenes, an updated meeting stage and PowerPoint Live.

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