Ignite 2021: Microsoft 365 expands Teams as work moves to the cloud

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Microsoft will kick off its second Ignite 2021 conference this morning, with lots of news about Azure, business applications, and Microsoft 365 apps. As you can expect, the company has some updates for Microsoft Teams, an app that has been enjoying some unprecedented momentum with the rise of remote work since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Microsoft Teams has become a great Zoom alternative with an increasing number of tools to help presenters keep participants more engaged. The app can now be used to create interactive webinars for up to 1,000 attendees, and it will support view-only webinars with up to 20,000 attendees later this month. PowerPoint Live is also generally available in Teams, combining slides, notes, and meeting chat in a single view.

The new Dynamic view for Teams meetings is also coming next month, and it should make video conferences even more engaging for attendees by dynamically adjusting the elements of your meeting, as seen below. A new Presenter mode is also coming soon and will allow meeting organizers to use three different modes to display their content next to their video feed.

Dynamic View.gif

Microsoft Teams will also get improved security with invite-only meetings controls, end-to-end encryption for 1:1 calls, and multi-geo support for Teams data. Microsoft will also be expanding Teams later this year with Microsoft Teams Connect, which will allow companies to create shared channels with external partners. Shared channels are currently in private preview and will be available later this year.

Microsoft also announced new features for Microsoft Teams Rooms, the integrated meeting room solutions for business customers. These devices now support the new Together Mode and large gallery view for meetings, allowing meeting participants to seamlessly see all meeting content. The software giant also announced today that intelligent speakers that use AI to identify speakers and apply their name and profile to live meeting transcripts will be available in private preview later this year.

thumbnail image 11 of blog post titled What's New in Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Ignite 2021

In case you missed it last month, Microsoft is building a new employee experience platform in Teams named Microsoft Viva. Viva Insights was the first Viva module to launch in public preview last month, along with the Viva Topics module available as an add-on to Microsoft 365 commercial plans. Viva Connections, a curated portal providing access to relevant news, conversations, and other resources from SharePoint and Yammer will be generally available on the desktop later this month, with a mobile experience to follow this summer. The Viva Learning module will also enter public preview in April.

To learn more about these new Microsoft Teams features, we invite you to check out Microsoft’s Modern Work and Teams featured sessions. Jared Spataro, CVP of Modern Work at Microsoft will present a session titled “The Hybrid workplace” today, and Nicole Herskowitz, General Manager, Microsoft Teams Marketing will follow up with “The Latest Innovations with Microsoft Teams” tomorrow.