Hardware Microsoft Teams

Microsoft announce new ‘Certified for Teams’ hardware

The rumours were true and today Microsoft has announced a raft of new ‘Certified for Teams’ hardware, available from June in the US.

Microsoft Modern Webcam

Source: Microsoft

The new camera is certified for Teams and includes high-quality, HDR 1080p video with a 78-degree field of view. It has a privacy shutter and includes a Teams LED to show when it’s in use (It isn’t clear yet if the LED only works when you’re using it in Teams or when the camera is in use with other apps.

Other features include ‘True Look’ which delivers facial retouch, fixed light adjustment and auto focus.

Price: $69.99

Microsoft Modern USB-C Speaker

Source: Microsoft

A new USB-C speaker which can connect to your computer to offer hands-free, high-quality audio for better Microsoft Teams meetings, calls and listening to music.

The speaker includes a dedicated Teams button, status lights and mute control to see easily if you can be heard during meetings. The speakers in the device have been optimised for voice but will sound great if you’re listening to your Spotify playlist through it. The Microsoft is omni-directional, with background noise-reducing technology built in.

Price: TBC

Microsoft Modern Wireless Headset

Source: Microsoft

The new wireless headset includes a background noise-reducing microphone which includes flip-to-mute and a status light that shows whether you can be heard or not. The headset includes on-ear call controls including volume up/down and a Microsoft Teams button. The headset includes a USB dongle (which Microsoft says is required for Teams certification and is used to connect to your computer). The dongle is a bit of a disappointment as it likely means this headset isn’t Bluetooth, and we need less dongles in the world. Microsoft state 50-hours of music listening time or 30 hours of talk time.

Price: TBC

Microsoft Modern USB Headset

Source: Microsoft

Finally, we have the Modern USB Headset. A wired headset with inline controls for mute, volume up/down, call answer and a dedicated Teams button. As with the Modern Wireless Headset, their wired sibling is designed for all-day use and have a background noise-reducing microphone and stereo speakers optimised for voice.

The dedicated Teams button allows you to join meetings and provide easy setup and management.

Price: TBC

Availability and wrap-up

Microsoft have stated that all the above hardware will be available in the US from the end of June and availability in other regions will be announced later.

You can read the full announcement on Microsoft’s website.

Meetings Microsoft 365 Microsoft Teams

Send a link to ‘Meet now’ and copy meeting link

A couple of improvements rolling out now regarding Teams meetings

Meet now

From Calendar in the App bar you’ve always been able to start an instant meeting by clicking on ‘Meet now’. When you click on this button now, Teams asks you if you want to get a link to send to people you want to meet with:

Clicking on ‘Get a link to share’ generates a Teams meeting link which you can copy or share by email:

Clicking on ‘Start meeting’ works like the old ‘Meet now’ button and opens a Teams meeting where you can invite people to join you.

Provide a link for people to join your Teams meeting

From the Participants panel in an open Teams meeting you can now create invites to add people using the ‘Share invite’ button:

Clicking on this allows you to copy a Teams meeting link to share via Chat, for example, or to send the link using your default email program:

These new sharing options for Teams meetings is rolling out now.

Microsoft 365 Microsoft Teams Word

Live Transcription with speaker attribution rolling out now

As noted by OnMSFT, Microsoft have updated the roadmap for Teams showing that Live transcription with speaker attribution is rolling out now. From the roadmap:

“Live transcripts provide another way to follow along with what has been said and who said it. After a meeting, the transcript file is automatically saved in the chat tab for that meeting.”

After a meeting, live transcripts can be downloaded as a Word document from the meeting chat. Any meeting attendees can download the Word document and the meeting organiser can delete the transcript.

Image credit: OnMSFT

Meeting transcriptions could be used for meeting notes, for people who are hard of hearing or where English isn’t their first language.

Live transcript is only available for the English language at the moment.

Apps Microsoft 365 Microsoft Teams Uncategorized

Microsoft working on all new Teams app (Updated)

Microsoft appear to be working on a brand-new Teams app, and is a Progressive Web App (PWA).

The new desktop app is based on Microsoft Edge so runs in the browser without all the Edge noise around it, such as the menus, address bar, etc.

At the moment, the app doesn’t work as it isn’t enabled yet however hopefully we’ll see this change quite soon.

The new Teams app is marked as Alpha so when and if it starts working, there may be bugs, crashes and other inconsistiences.

Download the Teams Alpha app here.

[UPDATE – 5th March 2021 17:46]
Microsoft seem to have taken the download offline.

Microsoft Teams PowerPoint

PowerPoint Presenter Mode comes to Teams

Microsoft have announced the release of PowerPoint Presenter Mode public preview in Teams.

Presenter mode allows you to see the current slide, your speaker notes and the next slide while your audience sees the slide you’re presenting.

Once you select a PowerPoint file from the Teams Share Tray, Presenter View is opened automatically. You see your current slide, your slide notes, and a thumbnail strip of all the slides in the deck for easy slide navigation and a preview of what’s next.

This is a massive improvement for presenters delivering their slide decks over Teams and means there’s no need to share your screen then open PowerPoint itself.

This update is rolling out now and there’s nothing users need to do.

Microsoft 365 Microsoft Teams Teams

Upload 250 GB files to Teams, SharePoint or OneDrive

Rolling out towards the end of January is a change which increases the maximum file size from 100 GB to 250 GB to a Channel in Teams, a SharePoint library or to your OneDrive.

This makes it easier to store large data sets, CAD files, 4K (or 8k) movie files to the cloud for access on all your devices or for collaboration.

Read more about it here on Microsoft’s site.

Education Microsoft Teams Teams

Joining a virtual class in Teams

Before joining a class, Teams will show you the ‘pre-join’ settings. These allow you to turn your camera on or off, choose what audio you want to use during your class and if you have your camera turned on, you can set a background filter – an image or blur – to hide what’s behind you.

Hardware Microsoft Teams Monitors

Dell launching Teams monitors

As reported by The Verge, Dell are launching three monitors which include a dedicated Teams button to launch the app, making it easy to answer and make calls or just get to Teams quicker.

All three monitors also support Windows Hello facial recognition and hands-free commands using Cortana.

Image courtesy of Dell

All these monitors will be available next month in 24”, 27” and curved 34” sizes. UK prices haven’t been announced yet.

Microsoft 365 Outlook

Microsoft to replace Mail and Calendar app with new Outlook app

Windows Central are reporting that the current Mail and Calendar app in Windows 10 and the Outlook app in MacOS are being replaced with a new Outlook app which is in development and internal testing.

Called ‘One Outlook’, this combined mail and calendar app built with web technologies, as part of their ‘One Outlook’ vision.

Read more about this in Windows Central’s article.

Watch the Ignite 2020 session which discusses Microsoft’s One Outlook vision.

Education Microsoft 365 Microsoft Teams

Schedule a virtual class in Teams

You can schedule virtual classes to replace your in-person teaching through your calendar, either in Outlook or in Teams itself. When you invite your students to the virtual lesson they will receive an email invitation including the link to join the lesson. As it’s in their calendar they will, by default, receive a reminder 15-minutes before the lesson is due to begin.

You can also schedule these lessons to also appear in your class Team, in whatever channel you choose. This guide shows you how to schedule your class in your calendar through Teams. View it here or download it to serve as a reminder or to share with your colleagues.