Microsoft Teams bringing more meeting tweaks with custom layouts, breakout rooms

Microsoft Teams Breakout Room
Microsoft Teams Breakout Room (Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Teams iOS and Surface

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Teams has a ton of new features on the way.
  • Incoming are breakout rooms, custom video meeting layouts, new together mode scenes, and more.
  • These new features, announced at Ignite, are expected to launch over the coming months.

Microsoft today officially kicked off Ignite 2020 with a slew of announcements related to its array of products and services. One of the biggest areas of focus is Microsoft Teams, which has a ton of new features on the way in the coming months. Those include things like breakout rooms, custome layouts for video meetings, and much more.

Set to arrive "later this year," custom layouts let meeting presenters customize the appearance of content during a meeting. In an example, Microsoft says a presenter could have their video feed transposed in front of a PowerPoint presentation. This is in addition to new together mode scenes, which let participants see themselves sat together in "virtual" rooms like an auditorium or a coffee shop.

Beyond more control over how meetings look, meeting participants will soon be able to split into smaller groups. Breakout rooms are expected to launch in October, and they'll allow meeting organizers to separate participants into different brainstorming or workgroup sessions. The presenter can move between rooms and close them to put everyone back into the main meeting.

A meeting recap feature is set to arrive later this year, showing a recording, transcript, chat, and shared files from the meeting. Webinar support will also launch later this year, giving organizers an automated event registration process with a detailed overview of attendee engagement.

Due out this year, Microsoft plans to update the calling experience in Teams with a simplified view. This new view will show your contacts, voicemail, and calling history on the same page. It also allows you to initiate or return a call with one click.

Microsoft Teams Streamlined Calling

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Collaborative calling will allow workers in an IT help desk or HR hotline to connect a call queue to a channel in teams, opening up the ability for workers to share information in a channel while taking calls. Teams' calling plan is also headed to new countries on October 1: Austria, Denmark, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Finally, Microsoft also plans to expand the limit on team membership later this year. There's no exact date, but team membership is set to grow from 5,000 members to 25,000 members.

Microsoft also has more coming related to security and compliance, management, and more for Microsoft Teams. For more, read the official Microsoft Ignite Teams blog.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl