Microsoft is bringing new features and updates to its collaboration platform – Teams – to help users work from home more effectively and improve overall performance of the Teams application.
Offline support in Teams will allow users to write messages while offline. These will then be automatically sent when a connection is established.
New ‘breakout rooms’ will allow users to reconvene in smaller groups during a meeting. Teams users can also now see up to 49 participants on a call, which is enabled by using the app’s ‘multi-window experience’.
These new features build upon previous updates that Microsoft announced in September.
Microsoft also says that it is working to ensure businesses and schools “have a high-performance experience that scales across their devices and levels of internet connectivity”.
“We are announcing features and experiences designed to streamline workflow and automate processes right within Teams, ensure great meeting experiences in a hybrid work environment, enable firstline workers, protect data and mitigate threats, and more,” said Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, in a Microsoft Inspire 2020 blog post.
Spataro said Microsoft is “introducing new ways to build low-code solutions, for partners to extend the Teams meeting experience with their apps and services, and for IT to manage Teams meetings”.
As part of these capabilities, users can build apps and chatbots and visualise data in Teams. The Power BI app for Teams makes it easier for customers to access Power BI reports on the platform. In addition, third-party applications and services give users new ways to host collaborative and interactive meetings.
Also new to the platform in September was the increased number of participants allowed into a meeting. Microsoft Teams can now host up to 1,000 participants in interactive meetings, and up to 20,000 in ‘view only’ mode.