Teams is getting Mesh Avatars, Premium SKU, Places app, and lots more

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Key notes

  • If you haven't been keeping up with Ignite 2022, here's what you missed.
  • The Teams app is about to receive more improvements and new features.
  • Microsoft is releasing a Premium SKU for the Teams app in December.
mesh avatars

As many of you are aware, Microsoft recently hosted its developer-oriented Ignite 2022 conference and announced a range of new features that will not only interest developers but also everyday users and enterprise customers.

Right now, we are going to focus on the changes being brought to the most popular conferencing app out there. That’s right, we are talking about Microsoft Teams.

And, speaking of Teams, if you need help with recording your Teams meetings, we can lend a helping hand with that as well.

Mesh avatars are coming to Teams

At the Ignite conference, the Redmond tech company announced that Mesh avatars are now available in private preview for Teams.

The truth is that a lot of Teams users were waiting on these to be added since this is something Microsoft announced almost a year ago.

So, basically, Mesh allows users to utilize personalized 3D avatars that can join Teams meetings and interact with each other in an immersive space.

You should know that this won’t require users to turn on their cameras but interactive methods such as eye contact and live reactions will be offered for those who prefer a non-robotic interaction.

In fact, these fun and entertaining avatars can be created through the Avatars app, which you can find in the Teams App Store.

Teams Premium SKU also announced at Ignite 2022

Moving forward, we should also tell you about a Teams Premium SKU that is also hitting preview in a couple of months (December 2022).

The new features added in tow include meeting guides, branding for meeting experiences, intelligent search, recap, and playback, and AI-generated tasks.

Furthermore, we are also looking at personalized insights, live translations for captions, advanced meeting protection, advanced webinars, and advanced virtual appointments.

Microsoft officials stated that it will be available as an add-on preview in December, and pricing details are currently unavailable but general availability is scheduled for February 2023.

Lots more in store for Teams users

The Redmond-based tech company has also outlined enhancements to existing Teams features that developers decided needed some tweaks.

On that note, know that developers stated that Cameo for Teams is generally available, Excel Live in a Teams meeting window is coming later this month, and that organizers will have more control over the Together mode view for all participants along with the ability to assign seats.

Also, Teams Phone Mobile is now generally available thanks to Microsoft partnering with several global telecom operators.

Keep in mind that it is currently available in a few countries and select telcos but Microsoft is working on expanding the capability.

And, since we are still talking new features, some other new and upcoming Teams features also include the following:

  • Video clips (Available)
  • Expanded reactions (General availability in November 2022)
  • Suggested replies in group chats (Generally available in October 2022)
  • Schedule send (Available)
  • Delete chat (Generally available in November 2022)
  • Mention @everyone for group chats (Coming at the end of 2022)
  • Zero-state people recommendations to suggest people initiate chat conversations based on previous collaborations (Coming at the end of 2022)

Microsoft is also working hard on improving the channel experience in Teams by moving the compose box to the top of the page, pop out conversations, pin posts, and enjoy a more streamlined info pane.

Furthermore, channels will also be made customizable with branded headers, and multiple post types for different occasions and milestones.

Looking at the partners side, Microsoft Teams meetings will be available natively across certified Cisco meeting devices on a rolling basis.

The tech giant is also continuing to work with independent software vendors (ISVs) such as 3M, SAP, iHeartRadio, Workplace by Meta, ServiceNow, Zoho, and more for collaborative Teams apps.

Get ready for the places app

The company has also announced the Places app for Teams, so the hybrid workforce management and collaboration app are coming soon in preview with the following features:

  • A dashboard view of which days people on the team or collaboration network will be in the office.
  • A presence that will indicate people’s physical location (in office, remote or mobile).
  • The ability to see the workspaces other users have booked, so someone can book one nearby.
  • Insights and guidance on commuting and passing time, plus the ability to automatically schedule travel time.
  • Wayfinding and navigation help within the office location.
  • Modernized conference room booking and technology to allow everyone to be a first-class participant.
  • Insights and guidance on sentiment related to hybrid policies, so managers can implement best practices.
  • Insights and guidance on space usage, so leaders can future-proof spaces and add flexibility into their real estate portfolio.

Before we conclude this article, know that for developers, the Teams Live Share SDK to build custom collaborative experiences is now in preview and the Teams Toolkit is now officially a part of Visual Studio, which should streamline the integration process for developers in this domain.

So, a lot to look forward to if you are a Teams user. What else do you think the app would absolutely benefit from? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

More about the topics: Microsoft Teams