Here’s what’s new in Microsoft Teams for August – Spotlight, Call Merge, and more

Rabia Noureen

Updated on:

Microsoft Teams Meetings

Microsoft has posted its monthly wrap-up to look back at all the new features and capabilities added in Teams as part of the August 2020 update. As always, we’ll be starting first with meetings and calling enhancements. There are tons of improvements on this front. These include the addition of Spotlight mode, Call Merge option, Meeting recordings, and more. All of these features have been designed to create a better user experience in Microsoft Teams. 

First off, Microsoft has announced a new Spotlight mode, projected to go live in the next few months. Not to be confused with the “Pin participant” feature, it will deliver presenters and meeting organizers the ability to lock an individual video feed for all attendees to see during a Teams meeting. Once available, presenters will be able to put someone in the spotlight by heading to the meeting video grid or directly from the Participants panel. 


Moving on, Teams also picked up the ability to store meeting recordings in areas where Stream is not available. The company has introduced a new admin setting to let users store meeting recordings in the data center closest to the region. In addition, Microsoft also announced that Microsoft Teams now offers an optimized experience for VMWare Horizon 8. The change will help Microsoft meet the increasing demand for collaboration tools to support remote workers.

The rest of the new features for calling in Teams includes a new call merging option for Teams VOIP and PSTN calls, and it lets users merge several calls into a 1:1 call or another group call. The aforementioned features come in addition to new Teams devices to enhance collaboration and meetings. The list includes a Windows collaboration display from Avocor as well as various Microsoft Teams Rooms setups powered by Logitech and HP.


Looking at just the new chat features, Microsoft has introduced a new Real-time presence functionality for Teams to provide more reliable and faster status updates. The company is also bringing Visio integration to Microsoft Teams to make it easier to access and manage Visio files through dedicated Visio tabs in a channel or chat.

Finally, moving down the list brings us to new features for Teams in Education. Microsoft has announced newly expanded capabilities in Education Insights in public preview. The new Insights view lets administrators to monitor digital engagement through system-level engagement monitoring reports. The feature has been designed to provide “visibility into educator best practices in remote instruction.”

education insights 1.png

Other changes

Of course, these are not all the changes announced in August 2020, and there were some new features for IT Admins and developers, too. We invite you to check out Microsoft’s blog post for some more in-depth details. We also remind you that you can keep up to date on all the latest features via our dedicated Teams news hub.