Microsoft has rolled out multiple new features to its video conferencing Teams app including end-to-end encryption for calls, webinar support for up to 1,000 attendees, channel-sharing, support for intelligent speakers, a new presenter mode and support for Microsoft PowerPoint Live. All of these new features were announced at the company’s ongoing Ignite 2021 developers conference. Also Read - Microsoft could hold major gaming event this month: Here's what we know
Microsoft Teams new features
Microsoft Teams will now support up to 1,000 attendees during webinars, and if a webinar gains over 1,000 attendees, Teams will scale the meeting into a view-only broadcast experience that will accommodate 10,000 participants. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the company has announced that the limit will be increased to up to 20,000 people to facilitate remote work until the end of 2021. These new event capabilities are included with several Microsoft Office and other plans. Also Read - Cortana no more available on Android, iOS devices, will be limited to Windows 10
Another major feature introduced is end-to-end encryption (E2EE) support for one-to-one Teams calls. The company has stated that a company’s IT department will have full discretion over who can use E2EE in the organisation. Also Read - Microsoft will soon allow all Xbox users to play free-to-play multiplayer games without a Gold membership
Microsoft has also announced the launch of Teams Connect, which will let a firm to collaborate with multiple organisations internally or externally. Using this feature, organisations can share channels with anyone, which will appear within a person’s primary Microsoft Teams account alongside other teams and channels. This feature is currently available in private preview and will roll out to everyone later this year.
Teams is also getting new gallery views for its Rooms, which according to the company will make it “easier to see everyone in the meeting.”
Microsoft Teams Intelligent speakers is a hardware product that will be able to identify and differentiate the voices of up to 10 people talking in a Microsoft Teams Room. The company has developed this speaker in partnership with EPOS and Yealink. The speaker also comes with a transcript feature that will automatically generate a transcript during a meeting. According to a report by The Verge, the speaker will also come with support for live translation.
Lastly, the company has announced support for PowerPoint Live in Teams, which will let users present meetings with slides, notes, chat and participants all in a single view. The company will also be adding a new Presenter Mode that will show the presenter’s video feed alongside their content as they present.