Microsoft Teams is still getting new features: in the past month, Microsoft has rolled out new features for PDFs, Together Mode, chat and collaboration, and its low-code offering, Power Platform.
Microsoft Teams Together Mode, which displays participants in a common virtual room like a lecture hall, now allows meeting organizers to assign seats to participants.
The app also lets users pop out shared meeting content, like a PowerPoint presentation, into a separate window so users can see each other and their content more easily.
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There are also updates for live translated captions that are tied to Microsoft’s new Teams Premium accounts. Microsoft last month announced the Teams Premium add-on, which costs $10 per user per month that will give users more AI and security capabilities to assist with meeting organization, company branding, personalized highlights, search for transcripts, live translations for captions for 40 languages, and meeting security.
Teams Premium features will begin to roll out in December 2022 as a part of Teams Premium preview, with general availability scheduled for February 2023.
Live translated captions is “temporarily available for all customers”, but after February 2023 it will require a Microsoft Teams Premium license. But the license appears to be tied to the meeting organizer.
“If an organizer has Teams Premium, all meeting attendees can enjoy live translated captions,” Microsoft’s Holly Lehman notes in a blogpost.
Teams has a new companion mode for Teams on Android that gives attendees quick access to chat, reactions, and Microsoft Whiteboard. This feature is already available for iPhone users.
Call history details are improving too, which should help when users need to access call recordings and transcriptions from the details section.
Microsoft has added a few more Teams-certified devices, including Crestron Flex Displays, Sony YY2969 Earbuds, and the Neat Frame video device.
For PDFs, Microsoft is letting admins set Adobe Acrobat as the default app in Teams admin center to view and edit PDF files in Teams. It notes that end users can view, search, comment and annotate PDF files without an Acrobat subscription or an Adobe ID. It’s in public preview now.
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Teams now supports users as they’re creating short video clips that recipients can respond to with their own clip or a comment in chat. It’s on the desktop app now and will be in public preview on iOS and Android by the end of the year.
The Power Platform updates let admins manage previously purchased third-party app subscriptions from the Teams Admin Center. This should help with visibility into invoices. Microsoft is also working to improve app updates, and aligning Teams VoIP Call capabilities with Teams Meetings.
Microsoft also has updates specific to education, frontline workers, and government users.
At a higher level, Microsoft recently re-categorized its apps around four cloud-centric tiers. Its “user experience” tier includes Microsoft Office apps, Teams, and custom apps. Then there’s Developer Tools, which includes Visual Studio GitHub, and Power Platform. It also offers Data and Insights, covering Graph, Dataverse, and Azure data. Behind all this in the cloud sits its security, compliance and identity services tied to Microsoft Defender and Azure Active Directory.
Microsoft execs nowadays define Collaborative Apps as apps inside Teams or Teams components inside customers’ apps. The company is aligning its Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 franchises. Collaborative Apps also include Dynamics 365, which can be Dynamics or Dynamics components inside customer apps.