Microsoft is making numerous changes to its business-oriented communication and meetings platform, Teams. One of the most significant changes to how the company will present the app to users is by including it to existing installations of Office 365 ProPlus, and Microsoft/Office 365 Business and Business Premium. Of course, the tech giant is making the installation optional, as users will be able to choose to exclude it from their installations, as long as they do so before the application has been deployed. For those are already using Microsoft Teams, nothing will change in this regard.
The company has also worked to add many additional features to the app as well, including:
- Team discovery, which allows admins and team owners to allow or disallow private teams to be discoverable by other members.
- Support for adding up to 100 users in a group chat without creating a new team.
- Announcements, which are team messages that include a headline and background image to help it stand out from other messages.
- Information barriers, which allow admins to limit which users can communicate with one another, useful in keeping confidential information away from other team members.
- Improvements to the update process in Teams, allowing the application to remain up to date without a significant amount of bandwidth. This setting will be turned on by default starting July 9.
- Office 365 Governent GCC customers can now take advantage of interoperability between Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams.
- Improvements to GitHub integration, including “multiple new iterations of the integration via a new Messaging Extension, Bot, and personal app capabilities, making it easier to collaborate and leverage the integration.”
- A new Azure Pipelines app, available on the Teams App Store, which allows admins to automate customer builds and deployments, which Microsoft says will save time and increase productivity.
- New meeting options to set which users must wait in the lobby to be approved to join. Settings include People in my organization, People in my organization and trusted organizations, and Everyone. Changes apply instantly after they are set.
- A new toolbar at the bottom of the screen in video calls and meetings, which brings basic controls all in one location for Windows, Mac, and on the web app. Video support in meetings has also been added to Chrome browser users, as well.
- Many improvements to Teams for Education, including announcements, gradebooks, and a Share to Teams button.
Microsoft has also been working to enhance the experience of Teams for Healthcare workers, as well. Recently, the company partnered with HIPAA One to better educate healthcare organizations about the HIPAA compliance that can be enabled with Teams.
Microsoft encourages those trying the new features to provide feedback though the lower left corner of the Teams application. For new features, users can also submit new ideas to their User Voice or vote for other features for the company to prioritize.Further reading: Microsoft, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, Office 365