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Microsoft Teams gains a bunch of collaboration features for its fifth birthday

Microsoft Teams Android Install Store
Microsoft Teams Android Install Store (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft just announced a long list of features for Microsoft 365.
  • The tools focus on hybrid work, including the option to indicate if you're attending a meeting in person and the ability to add a Teams feed into a PowerPoint presentation.
  • Many of the new features will roll out in the second quarter of 2022, though some of them won't ship until later this year.

Microsoft 365 will soon support several new features to improve the hybrid work experience. New options and abilities will arrive for Outlook, Teams, PowerPoint, and other Microsoft 365 apps over the coming months. Most of the newly announced features will ship in the second quarter of 2022, though people will have to wait until later this year to use some of them.

Many of these features have already been announced or touched on by Microsoft in the past, but the company gathered them together in a post and shared more details about each of the upcoming options.

Outlook will soon allow meeting attendees to RSVP with a note that indicates if they will be at the meeting virtually or in person. Public preview testing for the new Outlook option will start in Q2 2022.

Some tweaks are on the way for the Teams Rooms companion device experience. Starting in the second quarter of 2022, people will be prompted to turn on their laptops when joining a meeting. A new layout called front row is on the way for Teams Rooms as well. This view places people's video feeds at eye level. Front row is already available in preview, and it will gain more features before the end of the year.

Teams Front Row

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

A new Microsoft Surface Hub 2 Smart Camera launched today. Automatic framing technology will adjust a camera's feed when people enter or leave a room or if someone interacts with a connected display. We also covered the camera in more detail in a separate post.

Microsoft announced cameo in September, which allows presenters to integrate a Teams camera feed into a PowerPoint presentation. After its testing period wraps up, the new tool will roll out for general use in the second quarter of 2022.

Microsoft will also bring cameo and recording studio together. Recording studio lets people record presentations and create on-demand videos. The combined recording studio and cameo experience will be available at some point in the second quarter of 2022 as well.

Cameo Teams

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

A new language interpretation feature is also on the way to Teams. Meeting organizers will be able to assign interpreters. The feature supports up to 16 language combinations. Attendees will hear the original audio with reduced volume in the background in addition to the interpreter.

Collaborating through Teams with people outside of an organization will get easier soon as well. Teams Connect will allow people to share a Teams channel. Microsoft announced this functionality last year, and it will be in public preview starting in March.

In addition to facilitating collaboration across organizations, Microsoft will help people work together across apps. Loop components in Outlook mail can be used to track action items and other information. When they're updated, the information will sync across to Loop components in Teams chat. The new feature is currently in testing with Office Insiders.

Lastly, Microsoft has new Fluent emojis in Teams. People were disappointed to see that the 3D emojis weren't available in Windows 11, but the icons are already in public preview on Teams.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).