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What’s new in Microsoft Teams Rooms and Devices at Enterprise Connect

The audience that gathers for Enterprise Connect is obsessed with finding the best tools for communications and collaboration. So when we first introduced Microsoft Teams at Enterprise Connect six years ago, we knew we’d found our people. And Microsoft Teams Rooms was there too, meeting a need our customers had for easier-to-use meeting rooms that introduced innovative new solutions for inclusive collaboration, with audio and video that gave everyone a voice. Since then, we’ve continued to expand our vision for what it means to meet together in meeting rooms.

Creating more flexible work spaces and experiences, doing more with less, and providing amazing customer experiences – these are the themes that bring us all together at Enterprise Connect this year, and we are here for it. The need for better hybrid meetings has exploded, while at the same time, many of our customers are looking for ways to reach their goals with simple solutions. And as always, our focus on delivering great customer experiences, for both end users and IT, are the reason why Teams Rooms are the most broadly deployed cloud connected rooms system on the planet. As we connect with you this week, we can’t wait to share how the ways we meet, communicate, and collaborate together will evolve next.

Expanding the ways your teams can join meetings and collaborate together

We are committed to delivering great meetings in every space across the end-user experience and ensuring that managing these rooms is as seamless and efficient as possible. We see that office spaces are in a moment of transition, moving from dedicated personal spaces to flexible shared spaces – or hotdesking. And we know that our customers want to achieve more with less, and have an easier time doing it.

Through collaboration with all our partners, we’re continuing to deliver great meeting experiences, while  helping to lighten the load for IT teams who have to manage numerous BYOD (bring your own device) rooms.

Cisco meeting devices natively run Microsoft Teams

As promised, native Microsoft Teams Rooms experiences are now available on Cisco’s high-quality, reliable video technology. Together, we are incredibly excited about what this partnership will bring our mutual customers – a broad portfolio of Teams-certified devices by Cisco, covering all workspaces.

Cisco devices certified for Teams will enable users to seamlessly connect from a native Teams Meeting to a Webex meeting, and back again. Customers will have the option to make Microsoft Teams Rooms their default experience, even as the devices will continue to support joining Webex meetings with all the features and functionality customers enjoy today. All Cisco devices certified for Teams will be manageable in the Teams Rooms Pro Management Portal for customers with the Teams Rooms Pro license.

The new Cisco Board Pro, available in 55-inch and 75-inch sizes, are among the first Cisco devices certified for Teams. The Board Pro is a touch board that enables video meetings, digital whiteboarding, annotating on shared content, access to apps, and wireless presenting.

The Cisco Board ProThe Cisco Board Pro

Teams displays: Even easier to use than before

Teams displays with the hotdesk experience make it easy for you to reserve a seat in the office and know you will have a workspace when you arrive. In fact, with the latest QR code sign-in experience that will be available later this summer, hotdesking users can seamlessly access their personal Teams account by scanning a QR code on a Teams display and using the Teams app on their mobile phone to login faster. With this update, users no longer have to manually enter their credentials in the device, which slows down user productivity. This feature was introduced after running a few pilots of Teams displays in phone rooms around Microsoft’s campus. Our users involved in the testing process offered valuable feedback, telling us that logging into the device was tedious and inefficient, so the ability to sign in with a QR code should streamline this process.

Hotdesk QR code sign-in experience.png

Yealink DeskVision A24: Now certified for Microsoft Teams, the Yealink DeskVision A24 delivers productive personal or shared space computing as a Microsoft Teams display. The device includes several premium communications features with AI-powered audio and video capabilities. The A24 comes with dual-mode device connections as well as a powerful 4K camera, built-in speaker and mic, wireless charger, and even a hinge monitor design that enables the screen to be tilted and use for whiteboarding.

Great Teams meetings for every space

Delivering great meetings in every space across end users and IT admins – both enhancing end user experiences, and on making it easier for IT teams to enable, manage, and understand the utilization of their spaces – has been Microsoft Teams Rooms’ north star from the beginning. To continue to deliver on that promise, we are expanding our offerings for shared spaces that are smaller, lower profile, and lower cost. We like to call them BYOD (bring your own device) spaces, and they support our claim that  Microsoft Teams is for every team – including those that are focused on doing more with less.

On that note, later this year, for less than $1,000 you will be able to light up the front-of-room display, have a high-quality Teams meeting experience, and manage the space. Low-compute capabilities allow BYOD room screens to greet users with room details and calendar, with instructions on how to use the room, while IT admins can manage device firmware updates and access real-time monitoring and room utilization metrics via the Pro Management Portal. And when you see a room hit your utilization threshold in the Pro Management Portal, it’s easy to upgrade to a Teams Room for the most inclusive and collaborative shared-space meeting.

Many of our partners are also committed to delivering devices optimized for BYOD spaces. One we’re excited about is the Crestron AirMedia® for Microsoft Teams, which brings plug-and-play presentation and wireless conferencing capabilities to your BYOD space. With a single USB-C connection and a one-button press, the AirMedia solution delivers a more streamlined workflow for sharing content and meeting connections. No drivers to download, no applications to run. Simply plug in, press to connect, and you’re meeting-ready. 

Sample screen for a room using the Crestron AirMedia® for Microsoft TeamsSample screen for a room using the Crestron AirMedia® for Microsoft Teams

Expanding the availability of Teams meeting experiences across Windows and Android

This year, customers will enjoy more consistency in Teams Rooms user experiences and functionality across Windows and Android™, and new devices certified for Teams on both platforms.

Surface Hub 2S: Now a Teams Rooms on Windows device

Welcome to the family! Surface Hub will join the Teams Rooms family later this year as the first touch-enabled board running Teams Rooms on Windows. Newly released Teams Rooms features will now come to Surface Hub on Day 1, so look forward to great hybrid meetings with layouts like Front Row (which will look beautiful on the 85-inch screen, if we do say so). And with streamlined management and compatibility with any Teams-certified Rooms devices, it’s easier than ever to add a Surface Hub for premium collaboration alongside traditional setups. To learn more about what’s coming to Surface Hub, visit the Surface IT Pro Blog.

Surface Hub 2S 85” running Teams Rooms on Windows (pre-release product shown; subject to change prior to commercial release)Surface Hub 2S 85” running Teams Rooms on Windows (pre-release product shown; subject to change prior to commercial release)

Announcing the Microsoft device ecosystem platform: the best of Microsoft and Android, tailored for shared spaces and optimized for Teams devices

We are excited to announce the Microsoft device ecosystem platform, which brings together the best of Microsoft and Android, tailor-made for shared spaces and optimized for Microsoft Teams devices. Built on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), the platform delivers the security, reliability, management, and ease of deployment Microsoft is known for, and the diversity of hardware and software support that comes with Android. It is designed for innovation, with the extensibility and customization that manufacturers need to deliver innovative products with both hardware and software extensions.

The Microsoft device ecosystem platform delivers class-leading security tailored for shared spaces and features a class-leading collection of security and tamper resistance features including secure and verified boot, anti-rollback, access-controlled security policies, partition Logical Unit Number (LUN) locking and data at rest encryption.

With a hardware-based root of trust and attestation, built on Microsoft’s PKI cryptography and Qualcomm’s Trusted Execution Environment, the platform reinforces security with attestation by enabling secure identification of the device and its configuration. This is built with the advantage of the Qualcomm QCS8250 IoT chipset supporting multiple concurrent instances of VPU-based hardware offload video encoding and decoding.

The first device taking advantage of the new device ecosystem is from Jabra, with more to come from other partners. The Jabra PanaCast 50 Video Bar System is an integrated solution that includes a Qualcomm state-of-the-art system-on-chip (SOC) compute unit running Android, which will be upgradable to the new Microsoft device ecosystem platform. It also includes other specialized processors, as well as speakers, microphones, and video cameras, with network and display interfaces for easy deployment. The solution comes with a 10.1” touch controller to manage the room experience. The system natively and securely runs Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android.

“We are excited to partner with Jabra to bring the Microsoft device ecosystem platform to our customers and as its first adopter from the partner ecosystem building devices certified for Microsoft Teams,” says Dave Kearney, General Manager of Program Management at Microsoft. “Security, reliability, management, and performance are critical for businesses globally, and by building on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and partnering with Qualcomm, we are pleased to offer a solution designed for shared spaces which brings the best Microsoft has to offer across those fronts while providing flexibility and diversity in the hardware and software offered.”

Management capabilities are enhanced with native support for Intune’s latest Android (AOSP) management solution, Teams Admin Center, and the new Microsoft management watchdog service all of which ensure that devices are always responsive and ready to use.  Matching this, the PanaCast 50 Video Bar System is designed to adapt to evolving UC experiences and hybrid workplace needs with its AI-powered software-defined platform.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Plan 2: The best security solution for Teams Rooms devices

Customers have been asking, and we’ve responded. Teams Rooms is strengthening endpoint security for Teams Rooms Pro customers to provide the most secure Teams Rooms meeting experience. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Plan 2 will be integrated into the Microsoft Teams Rooms Pro license and the Pro Management Portal, combining robust enterprise security management together with Microsoft Teams Rooms Pro management.

This integration will save Teams Rooms Pro customers money, with anti-malware protection from security vulnerabilities that eliminate the need to add other security services. Customers will also gain peace of mind with incident reporting that provides a 360-degree view of Teams Rooms health and security. The powerful set of security tools within the Microsoft Defender Security Center will also be available for customers’ Teams Rooms alongside the rest of their endpoints.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Plan 2 will be added to Teams Rooms Pro licenses by the end of Q2 2023. This feature will be retroactively added to licenses that have already been purchased and will be available for all new Teams Rooms Pro license purchases. In the second half of 2023, the service will be integrated into the Teams Rooms Pro Management portal interface, proactively displaying security incidents across Windows-based Teams meeting room devices, with Android to follow. Learn more about the extensive security capabilities of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint at Microsoft Defender for Endpoint | Microsoft Security.

New user interface on Teams Rooms on Windows devices

First announced in January, a new modern, fluid interface is coming to Teams Rooms on Windows this month. Look forward to a homepage and function screen design refresh, five beautiful new themes, more intuitive messages, and enablement of custom themes with an organization’s images and branding on meeting room displays. With the update (v4.16) this month, there is a consistent, familiar Teams Rooms experience across Windows and Android device platforms. IT Admins can find readiness guidance for the user interface update on the MS Learn site.

Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android updates

Teams Rooms on Android updates this month include meeting join and extension enhancements, more inclusive layouts, and more ways to collaborate and control content sharing. See all the details below.

Start an ad-hoc meeting

Quickly start an ad-hoc meeting with the Meet button, and invite participants to your meeting from the table console.

Start an ad-hoc meeting.png

Join meeting by ID

When you need to join an existing meeting and your room wasn’t invited, you can join by ID from the console.

Join meeting by ID.png

Extend meeting room reservation

On the occasion when your meeting needs to run beyond the scheduled time, if the room is available, you can extend the room reservation with one touch.

Extend meeting room reservation.png

Front Row now available for Teams Rooms on Android

Front Row, a layout experience designed to enhance hybrid meetings, is now available for Teams Rooms on Android. In-room users can see remote attendees at eye level on the front-of-room display, making for more natural interactions between participants whether they are in the room or remote. The meeting chat is available to the right of the content, so in-room participants can follow the meeting chat without taking their attention away from the display. Chat has been added as an option to every layout, including Gallery, Large Gallery, and Together Mode.

Opt-in to share content via HDMI

When sharing content over HDMI, including audio, admins can control whether content gets shared automatically or presenters are required to opt-in via a tap of the “Share” button.

Opt-in to share content via HDMI.png

Watermark camera streams and meeting content

It’s now easier to safeguard confidential information. Meeting organizers with a Teams Premium license can add a room account watermark on video participants’ camera streams and supported shared content.

Watermark camera streams and meeting content.jpg

Annotations on shared content

If a working session requires mark-ups and annotations, everyone can participate. When a participant joining from their desktop starts an annotation session with shared content, in-room users can see the annotations made, and can contribute from the touch display room device.

Annotations on shared content.png

Expanding the ecosystem of OEM devices certified for Microsoft Teams

As always, we love to celebrate new devices certified for Microsoft Teams rooms from our partners. We announced several newly certified devices yesterday, and today want to introduce you to the Poly Studio X70.

The Poly Studio X70 is the first large-room integrated video bar certified for Teams Rooms on Android. It sports a unique dual-lens ePTZ camera with both wide and narrow focus that captures everyone in the room with flawless, life-like video, transitioning seamlessly from one person to the next. The built-in Poly DirectorAI smart camera technology provides intelligent framing modes. Poly’s innovative audio technologies empower participants to clearly hear and be heard by blocking out distractions.  

The Poly Studio X70The Poly Studio X70

That’s it for now. Whether we connected in person with you this year at Enterprise Connect, in a virtual meeting, or a hybrid space in between, we hope you’ll stick around to see how Teams Rooms continues to expand the possibilities for your team’s modern workplace.

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