Welcome to the July 2023 edition of What’s New in Teams! We are publishing this month’s edition early to cover the announcements made at the Microsoft Inspire conference, in addition to our typical What’s New features. We have a lot to share this month. Let’s dive in!
At Inspire, Teams will be hosting two on-demand sessions: Accelerating business growth with Microsoft Teams and Enable AI-powered flexible workplaces with Teams (Phone, Rooms & Premium). We encourage you to register and tune in order to catch up on the latest Teams announcements, including new Copilot integrations for Teams Phone and Teams Chat. These sessions are packed with information on how much Teams has evolved over the last year (670+ new features), a look at where Teams is going, and plenty of demos to show you the latest and greatest new features in action.
In addition to the Inspire announcements we have a great line-up of new features to announce for July. The month of July will bring 23 new features to Teams. This blog contains all features that will be released in the month of July so some features are still rolling out as July 18th. My personal favorites are the new Zoom-in and Zoom-out buttons when viewing a screenshare to give a better way to zoom in or out on content shared by colleague and Teams calendar enhancements to allow better manipulation of my calendar from within the Teams App.
Please read about all the updates and let me know your thoughts! I’ll do my best to respond and answer questions as they come up.
Teams Announcements at Microsoft Inspire 2023
The following are announcements we made at Microsoft Inspire and will be rolling out in the coming quarters.
Microsoft 365 Copilot in Microsoft Teams Phone (Early Access Program)
As part of the next wave of generative AI for Teams, we are incorporating advanced AI capabilities to unscheduled calls in Teams. Copilot in Teams Phone can quickly generate call summaries, capture action items, and lets users ask questions about the conversation which Copilot can answer. By automating tasks that can be distracting, Copilot helps users stay focused and engaged during a call. Copilot in Teams Phone will work for both VoIP and PSTN calls and is now available to customers participating in the Microsoft 365 Copilot Early Access Program.
With Copilot in Teams chat, you can quickly synthesize key information from your chat threads – allowing you to ask specific questions (or use one of the suggested prompts) to help get caught up on the conversation so far, organize key discussion points, and summarize information relevant to you. Copilot reduces the effort of managing different chats and helps you spend more time on the things that matter, without interrupting the flow of your work.
Collaborative Notes in Microsoft Teams Meetings (Public Preview)
Online meetings are more effective with Collaborative notes. Shortly, meeting attendees can co-create and collaborate in real time on the meeting agenda, notes, and follow-up tasks. These capabilities are now integrated across Teams, Loop, Planner, To Do, Office.com, and OneDrive for Business. Collaborative notes are a Loop component and always stay in sync regardless of how many places they live in and can easily be copied and shared in chats, group chats, emails, and other documents. Similarly, when participants are assigned a task in the meeting, an email notification is sent, and the task is automatically synced with To Do and Planner. Access Collaborative notes in the calendar invite ‘Details’ tab, the ‘Notes’ button during the meeting, and under the ‘Recap’ tab after the meeting.
We are continually helping IT departments simplify the management of Teams Phone deployments and save costs. Shared calling allows admins to enable groups of users to make and receive PSTN calls using a shared phone number and calling plan. With shared calling, a single phone number and calling plan can be shared across a team of users licensed for Teams Phone, either through E5 or Teams Phone Standard. Whether supporting 10 people in a small office or 10,000 users in an enterprise, admins can easily enable shared calling in the Teams admin center by creating a custom shared calling policy, assigning a resource and phone number to the custom policy, and then assigning users to this policy. Shared calling will be available in later in the quarter.
A new keyboard shortcut enables search in a specific chat or channel
Sifting through multiple posts and conversations in your chat and channels to find the content you need can be time consuming. An improved search experience makes it possible to find your content quickly. Use CTRL+F keyboard (or Command + F for Mac) shortcut to display the search window ‘Find in chat’ or ‘Find in channel’, type in the key word in the search window and results pertaining to the specific chat or channel will be displayed on the right side of the screen. Selecting the search result that meets your needs takes you to that message, gaining greater context. This feature is available now.
Chat embedded in Microsoft Edge browser
When opening a webpage link from your Teams chat using Microsoft Edge, the chat window will follow you to the Edge browser so you can view the content and chat side-by-side and continue the conversation. You can access your recent chats and start new chats directly from an embedded chat pane in the Edge sidebar, removing the need to switch back and forth between apps. This feature will be generally available later this year.
Affordably priced Teams Rooms on Windows devices from MAXHUB
A new hardware partner will be joining the Teams Rooms ecosystem. In the coming months, MAXHUB will offer affordably priced Teams Rooms on Windows compute and console, ideal for upgrading your high impact BYOD (bring your own device) spaces. MAXHUB will also bring to market competitively priced full kits for Teams Rooms on Windows, perfect for spaces not already equipped with centralized audio and video.
Create up to 1000 channels per team
Channels enable workgroups of all sizes to collaborate in a dedicated workspace to organize information based on a topic or initiative, bring a group of people together to ideate, co-author documents, have conversations in real-time and get work done. Now, you will be able to create up to 1000 channels in a team. The scalability of channels removes the need to recreate multiple teams on the same topic and instead increase the number of channels in one central collaboration space. This will be generally available in August.
Shared channels external collaboration requests
With shared channels you can create a secure workspace and invite people from other companies to collaborate seamlessly across your organization’s boundaries. Organizations seeking to collaborate with external teams will now have the option to define their own cross-collaboration submittal process. Now, channel members who are unable to invite an external user to a shared channel will be able to navigate to their organization’s defined onboarding landing page to submit the request and establish cross-organization collaboration. This will be generally available in August.
Teams Premium Inspire 2023 Announcements
Advanced Webinars – Email customization
Organizers can edit and customize webinar communications including registration confirmation, cancellation, reminder email, attendee in waitlist, and more. You can edit the sender’s name, subject line, add a tailored banner and logo, and update the body of the email. For reminder emails, you are also able to customize when the email is sent.
New Microsoft Teams Phone solutions in India
Microsoft is partnering with local telco operators to launch a new Teams Phone offer in India. Using the Operator Connect platform, select operators will develop, sell, and support a full-featured Teams telephony solution for users in India. Launch partners Airtel, Tata Communications Limited, and Tata Tele Business Services will bring to market their respective offerings with additional operators to follow, giving Teams customers within India choice for their Teams Phone deployments. We will share more details about these upcoming solutions as they become available.
Smart workplace with Teams
Teams Phone customers can now extend the value of Teams realizing the benefits of a secure, intelligent, and flexible workplace by adding Teams Rooms and Teams Premium at a promotional price. Customers who do not have Teams Phone as part of an E5 license or Teams Phone Standard may purchase Teams Phone at a promotional rate as well. The promotion ends December 31, 2023, and certain restrictions and requirements apply. Contact your Microsoft Account team or a Microsoft Cloud Partner for more details.
Teams Phone Mobile availability expands to new markets
Teams Phone Mobile, a mobile-first, enterprise-grade calling solution that lets you enable your mobile workforce to use a single, business-provided mobile number as their Teams Phone number, unlocking new capabilities and increased efficiency. Teams Phone Mobile is currently available in US, Canada, Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland, and will be available later this year in Denmark and Norway with Telia and in Liechtenstein with Swisscom.
Microsoft Teams Sessions at Microsoft Inspire 2023
OD137: Accelerating business growth with Microsoft Teams
Learn about Teams FY24 strategy, business priorities, and new capabilities built for today’s flexible work environments and to help partners realize more value for customers and their business.
OD138: Enable AI-powered flexible workplaces with Teams (Phone, Rooms, & Premium)
Learn about how standardizing communications onto Teams helps bring flexible work to life, and how Teams Phone, Rooms, and Premium help partners grow and accelerate their businesses.
What’s New in Teams | July 2023 Edition
The following are new features being released in July 2023.
Zoom in and Zoom out when viewing screenshare
Previously, when in a meeting you could only zoom using pinch-to-zoom gesture on a trackpad or other shortcuts. Now, you can use the newly available buttons to zoom in, zoom out, and restore the original size of the incoming screenshare.
Learn more about the zoom in and zoom out feature in this insider deep dive article.
Teams Breakout Rooms participant shuffle
As a meeting organizer, co-organizer, or breakout room manager, you can utilize the new Shuffle capabilities to randomly assign participants to rooms—either prior to the meeting or during the live meeting. You can decide to either shuffle everyone or shuffle only unassigned participants to evenly re-distribute participants to existing rooms.
Learn more about this Teams Breakout Rooms Participant Shuffle in this insider deep dive article.
Express yourself in Teams meetings on Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI)
While in a Teams meeting on a virtual desktop, you can express yourself using emojis that will appear to all participants to help make Teams meetings more inclusive, engaging, and fun. You can now click on the React button in the meeting toolbar and express yourself using Like, Love, Applause, Laugh, and Surprise live reactions. If you or someone else is sharing content in a meeting, reactions will be shown at the bottom of the screen for a few seconds. Corresponding reactions also appear next to the names of participants who send reactions.
Learn more about this feature in this tech community article.
Chat and collaboration
Copy links to group chat messages
When you want to reference a specific message in a busy group chat, you will now be able to share a link to that message. The link takes the recipient directly to the conversation and allows them to view historical chats pertaining to the conversation, gaining greater context.
Video enhancements in Teams chat
You have greater flexibility and control with enhanced video experiences in Teams.
- When you receive a Microsoft Stream video in a Teams chat, like a recorded team meeting saved in OneDrive or SharePoint, you will be able to preview and play the video directly in chat.
- When you record a video clip and prefer to be off camera, you will now be able to use audio only or screen record only. In times when you need to be on camera, you can use the new custom background settings, like blurring their background to allow for more privacy. This feature will be generally available in August.
- Video clips shared in Teams now include captions in English and soon will support other languages. Captions are generated automatically when the video clip is uploaded. This feature is available now.
Teams calendar enhancements
You can manage your Teams calendar with greater efficiency with these new enhancements in Teams.
- A new agenda view in calendar gives you the ability to see a list of all events in an easily consumable manner, helping you organize for their day and be more productive. From the agenda view, you will be able to RSVP, join a meeting, chat with participants and access meeting notes, recordings, and transcripts.
- • If you need to reschedule an event in your calendar, you no longer need to open the event to reschedule it. By using the drag and drop feature, you will now be able to drag your existing calendar event and drop it in a new timeslot. You will also be able to check the participants’ availability before updating the event.
Teams Rooms and Devices
Cisco Room Kit EQ and Navigator for Teams Rooms on Android
This Cisco Room Kit EQ is a next-generation video device bundle ideally suited for large spaces. Power your meetings with a modular room kit that includes the AI-powered Cisco Codec EQ, the intelligent Quad Camera video bar, the intuitive Room Navigator touch controller, and room peripheral options. Learn more about the Cisco Room Kit EQ for Teams Rooms on Android.
Jabra PanaCast 50 Video Bar System with Remote Control for Teams Rooms on Android
We are excited to announce the certification of the Jabra PanaCast 50 Video Bar with the PanaCast 50 Remote Control for Teams Rooms on Android. This integrated form factor, combines the PanaCast 50, featuring world-leading professional audio and unique 180° field of view, with an advanced Android processor, for future-ready, no-laptop-needed instant collaboration. Learn more about the PanaCast 50 solutions for Microsoft Teams Rooms.
Find devices that are certified for Teams for all types of spaces and uses at aka.ms/teamsdevices.
Frontline Workers and Vertical Solutions
New Tag Management Settings
This feature will update default tag management settings in the Teams Admin Center to include Microsoft Default along with Team owners and members and Team owners. You can update this to your preferred option of Team owners or Team owners and members at the tenant level and override the default.
EHR Connector Virtual Appointment usage report for user access
Users who are not designated as admins now have access to the EHR Connector Virtual Appointment usage report through the Virtual Appointments App in Microsoft Teams.
Tasks in Teams – Checklist item completion requirement for frontline organizations
The Task publishing capability in Microsoft Teams has been enhanced with a new feature: checklist completion requirement. This feature is valuable for organizations with a frontline workforce. You can now activate the checklist completion requirement when creating or updating tasks in a publishable task list. Once a task with this requirement is published, frontline teams will be notified that they cannot mark the task as complete until all the checklist items have been fulfilled. This functionality provides organizations with a reliable way to ensure that all necessary steps are accomplished before considering a task finished.
Additionally, organizations can take advantage of the Business scenario API to create tasks with the checklist completion requirement enabled, even outside the publishing process. For instance, when a machine health monitoring system detects a machine failure, an automated task titled “Machine Failure Follow-up” can be generated for the employees at the relevant location to address the issue. This newly created task can include checklist items for each step involved in investigating the cause of the failure, performing necessary repairs or maintenance, and conducting post-repair testing and verification. By mandating the completion of all checklist items, organizations can guarantee that tasks are executed with the necessary attention to detail, enhancing operational efficiency and reliability. This feature will be generally available by the end of July.
IT Admin and Security
Ability to block meeting chat access in external, non-trusted meeting joins
This feature enables IT Admin to block regulated, internal users to access chat when these users attend meetings organized by external non-trusted tenants.
Enable quick and easy navigation from message search result to location in chat
When you click one message result from TM Search, you will be navigated quickly to the location in chat.
Extended Directory People search in Teams mobile app for iOS
You can now see external people results from Extended Directory in Teams Mobile Search.
Richer suggestions in search
You can see richer and more suggestions when you formulate a query.
Enable “people + keyword” search in iOS
You can query as ‘people + keyword’ in search bar to find messages or more entities around a certain person. For example, ‘Lisa okr’.
Make calls through speed dial and call history on Apple CarPlay
You can now easily call your speed dial contacts and get back to your recent calls on Teams on Apple CarPlay with your iPhone.
Ratings & Reviews for Apps
This feature allows end users to provide ratings and write reviews for apps they’ve acquired in the Teams app store.
App suggestions by task in In-context Stores
Users think about which tasks they need to complete such as creating a survey inside Teams. Now, app suggestions will be organized by tasks the apps support as opposed to conventional categories (productivity, project management). As a result, the new categorization will reduce the amount of time users need to spend learning about these apps – helping them to work more effectively. The task-based app suggestions will be added to the Tabs, Messaging Extension, and Bots in-context Stores.
On-demand recording for webinars
After a webinar has ended, an on-demand recording is available for organizers to manage and share seamlessly with attendees. Organizers can publish an on-demand recording of their webinar within the webinar management experience and an email is automatically sent to attendees with a link to access the recording. Organizers can preview the email and edit the content prior to the on-demand recording being shared with attendees.
Teams for Education
Classwork is designed to help educators streamline their lesson planning process and organize their class resources more efficiently. Classwork is a one-stop shop to create and organize class resources, including Assignments, OneNote Class Notebook pages, web links, files, and Teams channels. Classwork is rolling out now and will be available to all Teams for Education customers by mid-July.
These features currently available to Microsoft’s commercial customers in multi-tenant cloud environments are now rolling out to customers in the US Government Community Cloud (GCC), US Government Community Cloud High (GCC-High), and/or the United States Department of Defense (DoD).
Teams device management for Department of Defense (DoD) customers in the Teams Admin Center
DoD customers can manage their Teams devices from the Teams Admin Center giving Admins control of the entire lifecycle for their Teams devices.
Virtual Appointments for GCC
Virtual appointments in Microsoft Teams are now available for GCC customers to conduct business-to-customer (B2C) engagements that help build deeper customer relationships through simplified scheduling, meeting facilitation, and post meeting follow-ups. GCC customers can use the following capabilities in virtual appointments: custom branded lobby, manage scheduling through Bookings and the Virtual Appointments app, appointment queuing and on-demand appointments, analytics, and virtual appointment graph APIs.