- Microsoft has released the teams new meeting experience which is available for only Windows and Mac. It’s like a public preview so people can try out it if they want to so you won’t be forced to use it if you don’t want to.
- It will be made available initially only for targeted users and not everyone. It will be gradually rolled out to everyone over the next few months.
- Also, it is not available for the Linux app or the browser version of teams but it will be eventually. It’s not available for the teams live events or teams free but Microsoft says it will be eventually.
- The first thing you should do is check teams for new updates just in case the update hasn’t arrived yet.
To do that, click more options (…) in the top right-hand corner of the app, drop the menu down and choose “check for updates“
You should see a grey bar at the top letting you know that it is checking for updates.
And once that’s done – which can sometimes take a few minutes. It will say something like “You have got the latest updates, Enjoy!”
It sometimes has a refresh link and that will restart the teams app.
To turn on the new meeting experience update you need to go back into the more options again and this time choose “settings“.
If the update has arrived, you should see a new option on this page with a checkbox labeled “Turn on the new meeting experience“.
You should check this box and then restart teams. You can restart by right-clicking the teams icon in the Windows taskbar, choose “Quit“.
- Once you have turned it on, the best way to test it is to start a meeting. I’m going to choose “Meet now” from the calendar app but you could do this from a chat or a scheduled meeting.
- The first thing you notice is that the meeting is in a new window. It’s completely separated from the MS teams app which is the main feature of this update.
- So now it looks a lot more like Zoom. Because the meeting is in another window you can dock it to the left and right. You can maximize and minimize it. when you minimize you just see the rectangle in the bottom right.
- You can move that around if it’s in your way.
- You can just click it once to get back into the meeting. If you need to, you can now work in teams freely while the meetings running in a separate window. This looks really good to me.
The next thing you can see is that the toolbar has moved from the center of the stage up to the top, so all the controls are now docked at the top in teams.
- The toolbar as expected, you have the people and the chat window buttons and they still appear on the right-hand side so nothing much has changed there. You have the “raise your hand” feature and then you have the video, audio and sharing buttons.
- The leave button has changed slightly so you can choose to either leave the meeting or if you’re the organizer you can end it, which means everyone has to leave.
The sharing feature is basically the same. You hit the “share” button and then you choose what you want to share.
When a presenter is sharing slides, attendees can use the buttons at the top to move backwards and forwards. Also, there’s a new look “take control” button next to them.
You can also use the new “focus” feature when someone is sharing. If you go to the ellipsis and choose “Focus“
Focus removes all the video streams from the meeting stage so you can just see whatever is being shared.
You can maximize the meeting window but there’s no full screen option yet. Microsoft says that they’re working on that.
Finally, this update will introduce the “Large Gallery View” and “Together” modes.
Large Gallery View
The much anticipated “classroom” experience with 7*7 video streams is coming in public preview soon. There might be a few things you need to train your users on:
- It is not turned on by default for meetings
- Users may turn it on/off at any time during a meeting
- It requires at least 10 active video streams to be available
The large gallery view will be available behind the three dots on the control bar (…) for the active meeting. This is all according to a message in the message center recently and in the road-map ID 65333. According to the road-map, the release of the feature has been moved to August.
- Microsoft is aiming to render video sessions more enjoyable and (potentially) less fatigue-generating with the latest improvements to Teams.
- The new functionality coming to Teams, Together Mode, can bring members into a common context in a video conference. The aim is to make the participants feel more like they are in the same room together, Microsoft said.
- The first collaborative backdrop to introduce would be an auditorium while in the future, the organization stated, teams would have additional background environments such as a meeting area, cafe or school.
- Together Mode, made possible by AI segmentation technologies, is an upgrade as, according to Microsoft, it lets users rely on the body language and other users’ faces. Which makes catching nonverbal clues easier, the company said.
- While it is unfortunately not appropriate for all meetings, Together Mode would be optimal for meetings “in which several persons can chat, such as brainstorms or roundtable discussions, because it makes it simpler for participants to hear who is talking,”
- Together Mode with the auditorium background will roll out to users beginning now, with general release in August 2020.
These two may not be available straight away. They weren’t in my tenant.
To summarize, the new meeting experience update introduces all meetings in separate windows so that’s your update on the teams new meeting experience.
To get more information on teams new meeting experience, visit the Microsoft website.
Want to improve your Microsoft Teams experience for better productivity? Check out the tips and tricks mentioned here.
Now I’d like to hear from you:
Which finding from today’s report did you find most interesting? Or maybe you have a question about something that I covered.
Either way, I’d like to hear from you. So go ahead and leave a comment below.