Microsoft makes hybrid meetings more efficient with new Teams features

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Microsoft unvealed the roadmap to bring more collaboration capabilities to Teams, for hybrid work scenarios, over the coming months.

In May this year, Microsoft shared a video showing how hybrid meetings might appear and feel in the future, based on the software giant’s research.cThe video showed off how Teams Rooms’ capabilities could work in different sized and scaled spaces, like a medium space, focus room, or large space.

The roadmap

The features will use intelligent speakers, large-screen displays like Teams Panels and Surface Hubs, and cameras. Microsoft officials expanded the vision with a roadmap, during the ‘What’s Next for Hybrid Work’ virtual event.

During those announcements, Microsoft executives also shared more Teams Meetings and Rooms features that will roll out during the rest of 2021.

They include:

  • A new front row feature in Rooms, which will make interactions between virtual and in-person attendees have a natural and more immersive feel.
  • The meeting content will feature context, offered as information in notes, agenda, and tasks.
  • Those in Teams Rooms can see the meeting chat, allowing them to view and respond to comments shared during the chat.
  • More Teams desktop features will be added to Teams Rooms during the summer, to bring more attention to virtual meeting attendees. These will include live reactions, spotlight, and pinning of multiple video streams (coming in the fall), and chat bubbles when using the classic video grid layout.
  • The intelligent speakers via Teams, which are now available from EPOS and Yealink, can identify who is speaking and apply names to the transcript.

With these additions, Microsoft looks poised to take on Google in enhancing collaborative work. Google recently announced that it is taking steps to make Google Workspace more collaborative and geared for remote work. We believe Google is ahead since it introduced true hybrid work features. With Google you can define at what location you are working if you will be attending a meeting in-person or virtual. Also, Google seems to have found a way to seamless switch between e-mail, chat and video. Features that Microsoft still lacks.