Microsoft announces updates to Teams, PowerPoint, Whiteboard

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Microsoft released its latest Work Trend Index today, and along with it announced a number of new features coming to make working from home, or working in a hybrid home/office scenario, easier and more productive. Here are some of the changes coming to Microsoft products:


Outlook is adding a feature to meetings RSVPs, allowing you to indicate whether you’ll be attending the meeting in person or remotely, coming in the 2nd quarter of this year.


Teams is getting a couple of updates to its Teams Rooms experience: a companion device experience that will prompt you to turn on your video when you enter a room, and hide your video from the front-of-room screen and from the gallery of people joining from companion devices in the room, coming in 2nd quarter 2022. Teams Rooms is also getting a new front row meeting layout, bringing remote meeting members into a “front row” at the bottom of the screen. Additional meeting info will be available, including chat, raised hands, and live reactions. Front row is now available in preview, with enhanced features coming later this year.


PowerPoint has had two recent developments to make remote sessions better – cameo, an experience that integrates your Teams camera into your PowerPoint presentation, and recording studio, which allows you to record your presentation and deliver an on demand video. Cameo will be available in the 2nd quarter, and recording studio is available now. Now, though, Microsoft is bringing cameo and recording studio together:

You’ll now be able to seamlessly create and produce your presentations, decide how and where you want your video to appear on your slides with cameo, and then record yourself speaking to any slide with recording studio. When it’s time to deliveryour message, share your presentation with PowerPoint Live in Teams, whether or not you’re attending the meeting. The combined cameo and recording studio experience will be available in the second quarter of 2022.


Whiteboard is getting a number of new features, including 50 new templates, collaboration cursors, and external Whiteboard collaboration in Teams Meetings.


The Viva Insight app in Teams is getting a new Inspiration library feature in preview, offering “thought leadership” and best practices from the Harvard Business Review, Thrive, and Microsoft.

In addition, Microsoft also announced a new Smart Camera, available May 31st for the Surface Hub 2.