Microsoft Teams app has got new features including end-to-end encryption for calls, webinar support for up to 1,000 attendees, a new channel-sharing feature, and support for intelligent speakers that can differentiate between voices of up to 10 participants. Microsoft announced the new features during its ongoing Ignite 2021 developers’ event. It also introduced Microsoft PowerPoint Live in Microsoft Teams for more engaging presentations and a new Presenter Mode for customised video feeds during virtual meetings.
As per the announcements made during Microsoft Ignite 2021, the company said that its communication and collaboration app Microsoft Teams can now support up to 1,000 attendees during webinars. “And if your webinar grows to over 1,000 attendees, Teams will seamlessly scale to accommodate a 10,000-person, view-only broadcast experience,” Microsoft said. The limit will be increased to up to 20,000 people till the end of the year in order to facilitate remote work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The new event capabilities are included with several Microsoft Office and other plans.
Microsoft Teams will now also support end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for one-to-one Teams calls. Microsoft says that a company’s IT department will have full discretion over who can use E2EE in the organisation.
Another important update regarding Microsoft Teams is the announcement of Teams Connect, a new feature that allows a firm to collaborate with multiple organisations internally or externally. With Microsoft Teams Connect, organisations can share channels with anyone, which will appear within a person’s primary Microsoft Teams account alongside other teams and channels. For example, if a team in an organisation is working on a specific project in collaboration with another team at a different company, they can share channels in order to easily access content for a streamlined workflow.
Microsoft Teams Connect is available today in private preview and will roll out broadly later this calendar year, said the company. Furthermore, the company is also bringing new gallery views to Microsoft Teams Rooms, including Together Mode “to make it easier to see everyone in the meeting”.
Microsoft also launched new Microsoft Teams Intelligent speakers. Microsoft says that these speakers can identify and differentiate the voices of up to 10 people talking in a Microsoft Teams Room. Created in partnership with EPOS and Yealink, the speakers can also automatically generate a transcript during a meeting, which will be attributed to the person speaking at any given point. The company is also giving users full control to turn attribution on/ off as a privacy and security measure. As per a report by The Verge, these speakers also support translation if users want to follow a meeting in a different language. However, there is no information on what all languages are supported for translation.
The company also announced Microsoft PowerPoint Live in Microsoft Teams that enhances the ease of presenting by bringing notes, slides, meeting chat, and participants all in a single view. Microsoft Teams will also soon get a new Presenter Mode that will show the presenter’s video feed alongside their content as they present.
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