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Microsoft Teams Release Roundup: July & August 2020

Published:

Microsoft Teams Whiteboard
Image credit: Microsoft.com

Executive Summary

  • In this Microsoft Teams release roundup, we’ll showcase some of the biggest and best updates the platform has received during July and August 2020.
  • In this edition, we’ll cover real-time status updates, the “new meeting experience”, instant Channel meetings, and more.

Introduction

Did you know that Microsoft Team now boasts over 75 million active users?

For an application which began life as an offshoot of Skype for Business, that’s pretty good going. But this level of success doesn’t mean Teams is dragging its feet – far from it.

As an extension of our Feature Focus articles, in this update roundup, we’d like to catch up on the last few months of Microsoft Teams updates.

Here’s what you might have missed during July and August 2020 for the desktop and browser versions of Microsoft Teams.

Real-time status updates

The Microsoft Teams development team have worked their under-the-hood magic to make status updates in the Teams platform now happen in real-time.

So, for example, if you switch yourself to “Away” or take a call, other members of your team will see your status change instantly wherever your name or icon appears. Previous to this update, status updates happened intermittently – so it’s a small, but important, change to keep everyone in sync.

Preview the “new meeting experience”

The Microsoft Teams desktop app now features a new setting within the Settings > General tab. Simply check the Turn on new meeting experience box and you’ll get a preview of Microsoft’s new approach to entering meetings.

What is this experience, you ask? Quite simply, when you enter a call, the meeting window will now open separately from your main Teams window. This means you have the flexibility to move the meeting around without losing the work you were already doing. Handy, right?

More joining options when using a meeting link

How do you prefer to access your Teams meetings? If you use a link from an email or Channel post, Microsoft has now enabled a few extra options to give you more choice.

From now on, when you click a Teams meeting link, you’ll be able to choose from:

  • Download the app for Windows or Mac
  • Continue using your browser
  • Open the desktop app if you already have it installed

Instant meetings in Teams Channels

It’s now easier (and faster) than ever to either schedule a call in Microsoft Teams, or have an impromptu call right there and then.

Simply click the Meet Now button in the upper-right corner of any of your Teams Channels and you’ll be able to launch a meeting immediately. Other members of the Channel will see the meeting in progress and be able to hop in anytime.

You can also click the Schedule a meeting option if you’d prefer to arrange a call for later without going through the Meetings app in Teams. It’s all about removing friction and helping you do your job faster.

Get at-a-glance information about any of your Channels

Whether you’re a team manager or simply a new starter, it’s sometimes useful to be able to know exactly who is a member of a Teams Channel – or even what the purpose of the Channel is.

The Microsoft development team have solved this with a new Channel information section, accessible from the upper-right corner of any of your Channels.

Just click the small i icon and you’ll see an ‘About’ section, which gives the Channel description, as well as a list of all members of the Channel with their current statuses. You can even see who has been active most recently in the Channel. Nifty stuff.

Is your business yet to hop on board with Microsoft Teams? We can help

If you’re not yet using Microsoft Teams, you might be surprised at just how affordable it is.

With plans suited for every business size, and an ever-growing roster of handy apps, there plenty of reasons to try Microsoft 365.

As a direct Microsoft Cloud Solutions Provider, we can cut out the middleman and help you get the most for your money. Call our team today on 01865 59 4000 to learn more.

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