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Microsoft Adds Hybrid-Inspired Rooms, Viva Features

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A Microsoft Teams tile
Image: Andreas Prott - stock.adobe.com
Microsoft announced in a blog post today a host of updates aimed at equipping employees with tools to communicate and collaborate in a hybrid work environment.
 
The first set of enhancements, designed to facilitate hybrid meetings with some participants in the office and others working remotely, are for Teams Rooms systems. Teams Rooms updates are:
  • A front-row layout for Teams Rooms displays — Over the course of the year, Microsoft will roll out a front-row room layout for Teams Rooms, which will move the video gallery to the bottom of the screen. In this layout, contextual meeting information like agenda, tasks, and notes will be displayed on the side of meeting content along with meeting chat, Microsoft said.
  • Extended video layout — A new video layout will extend the video meeting gallery across multiple displays when content isn't being shared, Microsoft said.
  • More desktop Teams features for Teams Rooms — This summer, Microsoft will add desktop Teams features such as live reactions, spotlight, and chat bubbles to Teams Rooms, when the classic video grid layout is in use.
  • Teams meeting features for Surface Hub — A new Teams Rooms experience for Surface Hub will bring Teams meeting features, like Together Mode scenes and PowerPoint Live, from the desktop Teams version to the whiteboard devices, Microsoft said.
  • Whiteboarding experience — Available this summer, Microsoft will make more Teams whiteboard templates available and allow users to import content for co-authoring using the whiteboard, Microsoft said. This capability will be available for Surface Hub devices this fall, Microsoft added.
  • More PowerPoint Live features — New features for PowerPoint Live include slide translations and the ability to annotate a PowerPoint as you present, Microsoft said.
To support the video layouts, Microsoft will rely on AI-based camera technology from device partners including Jabra, Logitech, Poly, and, as just announced, Neat. Additionally, Microsoft announced general availability of Teams Rooms intelligent speakers from Epos and Yealink; using AI, these assign speaker attributions to transcripts.
 
More Fluid Component Features, Viva Adds Notification Options
Secondly, Microsoft added features for Fluid components. As described last month in this No Jitter post, Fluid components allow users to send messages with tables, action items, or lists that can be edited by everyone and shared across Office applications. Now, Microsoft has expanded Fluid components to Teams meetings, OneNote, Outlook, and Whiteboard, and added features that allow users to pin a message, reply to specific chat messages, co-create an agenda, and take notes within Teams meetings.
 
Lastly, Microsoft announced an update to its employee experience platform Viva, focused on its Viva Insights apps. The update features:
  • Meditation, mindful exercises from Headspace — Starting later this month, wellness app Headspace will provide a curated set of guided meditations and mindfulness exercises to the Viva Insights app in Teams.
  • Enhanced focus mode — Available later this year, the new focus mode will feature focus music from Headspace and timers to help users track progress and plan breaks.
  • Quiet mode and notification settings — Users will be able to configure quiet time or silence mobile notifications from Outlook and Teams with upcoming setting changes to Viva Insights, slated for later this year.

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Learn how to fully utilize Microsoft Teams in your enterprise with the "Taming Teams: Delivering Exceptional User Experience with Microsoft Teams" session at Enterprise Connect this Sept. 27-29 in Orlando, Fla. No Jitter readers can save $200 off registration with promo code NJAL200. Register here

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