Last week, Microsoft launched its Teams Public Preview program, allowing users to preview and test upcoming features. One important update that may have flown under your radar is the December 2020 Preview Pack, which brings some new features, including Windows 10 native notifications and Meeting reactions, specifically for testers. Here’s a look at everyone you need to know.
Indeed, Teams users who choose to join the Public Preview program in their organization can now test Windows 10 native notifications. The feature brings an option to choose between using Teams' default notification setup and the Windows 10 native notification style.
As a reminder, it’s one of the most requested features that was previously limited to select users. The new functionality is supported on Windows 10 build 10.0.17763.288 or later and was spotted by Twitter user Maarten Eekels.
Windows notifications instead of Teams client notifications work in the preview client! Finally, #MicrosoftTeams notifications "listen" to your focus / quiet hours settings in Windows 🙂 pic.twitter.com/DJYJPWRw5T
— Maarten Eekels (@maarteneekels) December 10, 2020
To access this setting, users need to go to Profile > Settings > Notifications and select the “Windows” option available in the Notification style dropdown menu. Once set, the app will now use the Windows OS notification system to push all notifications (such as @ mentions, reactions, etc.).
For now, the new capability is supported on the Teams web app, and it’s not yet available for Mac users. Notably, the feature is currently listed as currently under development in the Microsoft 365 Roadmap, with a release set for December 2020. Until now, the feature has been delayed several times, and it’s still not clear if the company plan to release it later this month or the timeline will be updated again.
Next up, Meeting reactions is another interesting feature that was announced as a part of Microsoft’s new Teams Public Preview program for testers. With this feature, users will be able to react during meetings using emojis like “insightful,” “curious,” or “heart” to express their feelings.
Live reactions in @MicrosoftTeams are coming soon. 👏 ❤️ 😁
— Microsoft 365 (@Microsoft365) July 10, 2020
It has been designed to supplement non-verbal cues that are often difficult to notice in video meetings. The new reactions button can be accessed in the Teams’ menu bar, as shown above. The Microsoft 365 Roadmap listing indicates that the live reactions feature will begin rolling out in January 2021 for all users. (Just to clarify, Reactions has not begun flighting yet). (Update #2: ok now Meeting Reactions are available, after all):
— Matti Paukkonen | MVP (@mpaukkon) December 11, 2020
In addition to these features, the company has also announced some other functionalities. The list includes Call Merge, Large gallery and Together mode for web, and 2x2 view on VDI (Citrix, VMWare). If you are interested, be sure to check out the blog posts to learn more.