File picture: AP
File picture: AP

Microsoft Teams set to get major updates

By Masabata Mkwananzi Time of article published Sep 28, 2020

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Johannesburg - Software giant Microsoft will be adding more updates to their ‘Together Mode’ feature in Microsoft Teams.

The new updates will allow co-workers to virtually have meetings in coffee shops, break out into smaller meeting rooms or use custom layouts to overlay presenters directly onto slide decks.

Microsoft Teams ‘Together Mode’ was created back in July 2020 to help people stay connected during the Covid-19 storm. But with the majority of people still working from home, the company saw it fit to add more features that mirror the way people used to work before they were hit with the pandemic.

The updated features will have auditoriums, conference rooms, and even a coffee shop. This mode is also getting updated with a new feature that uses machine learning to automatically scale and centre people in their virtual seats no matter how far they are sitting from a webcam.

According to The Verge, the NBA has been using Microsoft Teams ‘Together Mode’ for its virtual crowd feature, allowing fans to dial in and sit together side by side to cheer the favourite teams on.

The software company will also be adding breakout rooms, allowing users to split off into small groups, which presenters can hop in and out off.

“Meeting organizers will be able to split up participants into smaller groups to facilitate brainstorming sessions or workgroup discussions. Presenters can then hop between breakout rooms, make announcements to all breakout rooms, and close the rooms to return everyone to the main meeting,” the company said in a blog post.

With the new updates Microsoft has in the pipeline, the company will also be improving Teams with custom layouts which will allow a video feed of the presenter to be laid on top of a slide deck so participants don’t have to pick between watching the presenter or looking at the deck separately. All updated features will be rolled out in the next coming months.

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