Microsoft supports hybrid working with new features for teams and Microsoft 365
On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of Teams, Microsoft announced some new functions that are intended to improve collaboration in hybrid work environments in particular. In addition to software functions, this also includes a high-end camera for the Surface Hub 2.
Teams have been around since early 2017. And, the app has undoubtedly given digital collaboration a big boost. According to Microsoft, the tool is currently used by 270 million users. The massive growth of the past two years is mainly due to the pandemic.
The trend topic of hybrid working may of course directly related to this. With the abating of the home office boom, mixed forms of face-to-face and remote work are now developing. Many employees want to continue to have the option of working from home. And, many companies are also saying that a full return to the office may not expect in the foreseeable future.
New Outlook function regulates personal or virtual meeting participation
Microsoft is now focusing on expanding hybrid work with suitable functions for office and teams. This currently affects the Outlook web client. It gets an option to organize hybrid meetings. A new dialog appears in the meeting invitations. It is allowing the user to choose between attending virtually or in person. This may particularly become useful for room planning.
Collaborative loop components are now in Outlook
Also for Outlook is the integration of loop components, as they are already available in teams. Loops are small modules for ad hoc collaboration, for example as tables, surveys, or text editing.
These Office-like components can embedd in both team’s chats and Outlook e-mails and enable joint editing in real-time within the respective client. Loop was previously presented as a Fluid framework.
In order to get to the loop functions faster, Microsoft recommends participating in the Office Insider program. It can activate in the Office clients via the account menu (File, Account).
Front Row – Teams Rooms sessions at eye level
To narrow the gap between the physical and digital workspace, Teams Edition Teams Rooms gets a new presentation template called Front Row. In the lower part of the screen! So, the individual participants may show in a separate strip. So, to speak, at eye level. According to Microsoft, this should enable more natural face-to-face interaction. Front Row is currently in a preview.
Surface Hub 2 camera with AI
An interesting hardware innovation comes with the Surface Hub 2 Smart Camera. This is an extravagant camera that may equipp with all sorts of intelligent functions. It is for detecting and focusing on people in meeting rooms. The prerequisite for this is a Surface Hub 2, the price may give as 799 dollars. The number of potential customers should therefore remain manageable for the all time.
PowerPoint Extensions Cameo and Recording Studios
With Cameo and Recording Studio, PowerPoint gains additional features to support hybrid presentations. Cameo allows inserting and formatting video feeds into presentations. Recording Studio, in turn, extends PowerPoint with various functions. It may such as recording or teleprompter.
Easier to collaborate with externals via Teams shared channels
With the Shared Channels (Teams Connect), a long-awaited Teams function is coming in March. External users can now invite to collaborate in a common channel much more easily than before. Externals no longer have to change clients or add via guest accounts.
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