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.

Apps Windows

Got a device with pen support? Try Journal

Garage, the skunkworks division of Microsoft, have today launched Journal, a free ink-space to jot down your ideas.

Source: Microsoft

From the webpage:

“Journal, a Microsoft Garage project, is an app for Windows that invites people who love to journal to pick up their digital pen, express themselves quickly, and evolve their ideas.

Of all the different methods of device interaction, digital ink is unique in the speed and degree of natural expression and in aiding memory. With Journal, disparate ideas can be connected, drawings can be sketched, annotations can be freely inserted, information can be located with search, and you can easily connect your ink across other apps to grow your best ideas. Journal provides an ink-first solution that delivers new AI, intuitive gestures, and connected experiences for Microsoft 365 for work and school (subscription required, sold separately) . “

It’s designed for people who thrive when writing out their ideas, notes, and sketches.

You can download Journal from the Microsoft Store.


Microsoft announce preview of Office 2021

Whilst the focus of improving Office apps is focussed on the cloud, some Microsoft customers don’t want to invest in the subscription model of Microsoft 365.

For these customers, Microsoft have today announced an upcoming preview of Office 2021, or Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC).

Office LTSC is the next perpetual release of the Office apps which will include some new features but do not release the full potential of the Office apps through Microsoft 365.

Microsoft state Office LTSC has been built “for a limited set of specific situations: regulated devices that cannot accept feature updates for years at a time, process control devices on the manufacturing floor that are not connected to the internet, and specialty systems that must stay locked in time and require a long-term servicing channel.

“We expect that most customers who use Office LTSC won’t do it across their entire organization, but only in specific scenarios. The good news is that you can deploy both Office LTSC and the Microsoft 365 version of Office with the same deployment tools.”

Read the announcement here.


Microsoft announce extended offline access for Microsoft 365

Microsoft have announced that devices running Microsoft 365 apps in areas such as in gas, government and energy can be configured so they only need to access the internet every 180 days. Currently, devices have to contact Microsoft every 30 days.

In a blog post, Matt Philipenko announced that devices can be configured for extended offline use, up to 180 days, through Group Policy.

Additionally, Microsoft have also announced device based subscriptions. Today, licences are assigned to users. Where an organisation’s user base includes information workers, such as manufacturing, retail or hospitality. Licences can be assigned to devices, rather than users, where a shared device is used.

Read the full announcement here.

Hardware Mobile phones

Surface Duo now available in the UK

As promised, Surface Duo is now available in the UK with a starting price of £1349 for the 128GB version, and £1449 for the 256GB

Microsoft are offering a trade-in deal which includes Samsung and iPhone devices.

If you have £1500 burning a hole in your pocket, you can order Surface Duo here. It’s also available from Currys PC World here.


Surface Duo UK pricing announced

You might want to sit down for this one.

Pocket-lint are reporting that Microsoft have announced the UK pricing for Surface Duo – the Android phone-come-tablet device with two screens that was released in America last year.

Be among the first to know when more information is available
Source: Microsoft

Surface Duo will be available from the 18th February from Microsoft themselves or Currys PC World.

The price? £1349! (I told you to sit down!).

I was excited by this phone and was seriously tempted but at this price – it’s a strong no from me. Considering the 128 GB version is $999 at the moment from Microsoft (plus shipping tax), then that’s a hefty markup. Some reports have stated that the UK version will have slightly upgraded specs with 6 GB RAM and either 128 GB or 256 GB of storage.

Reviews haven’t been kind for the Duo, mainly around old hardware but using the device has seemingly gone down well.

Will you be getting a Surface Duo next Thursday? Let us know in the comments.

Computers Hardware Windows

Windows 10X demo video

Windows Central has added a great run-through video of Windows 10X, Microsoft’s all-new version of Windows 10 designed for dual-screen small screen, low-cost devices:

Source: Windows Central via YouTube

Windows 10X was originally slated for dual-screen devices but Microsoft pivoted in 2020 and we’ll now see it first in devices designed to compete with Chromebook.

What do you think of Windows 10X? Let us know in the comments.

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.