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Microsoft’s latest addition to its Teams platform allows users to exchange content when participating in a gallery with up to 49 people on the screen. With the update, users can click on the participant videos in the gallery view to swap content with the gallery when someone shares content.

The content sharing feature is now accessible in public preview (possibly with a few bugs). Users can access the full 49-person gallery mode to click on participants to share content in the virtual room.

The evolution of Teams

Microsoft introduced the 49-person view late last year, six months after users said that the 9-person view was not big enough for the larger meetings held during the lockdown.

When in gallery view in a meeting, when someone else shares content, it appears in the centre and the videos move to the side of the top. Clicking on the participant videos allows users to swap. That way, they can bring videos to the centre and content like a PowerPoint presentation, whiteboard, or shared desktop/window to the top/side.

The move is Microsoft’s attempt to enhance Teams and align it with competitors, customer needs, and its own changing plans around when workers can go back to the office, due to the Delta variant concerns.

The Teams vision

Microsoft’s Chief Satya Nadella said earlier this year that Microsoft wanted Teams to recreate the water-cooler experience, which the company said will help users develop norms spanning their entire organizations to encourage onsite participants to join Teams as soon as they enter a room.

A vision like this would allow remote participants to not miss out on the informal banter, which is crucial in “rebuilding social capital and connection.”

Teams intends to do this by configuring meeting rooms to be optimized for remote participants.