Microsoft Teams 'Together Mode' makes meetings feel like you're in the same room

Microsoft Teams Together Mode
Microsoft Teams Together Mode (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft introduced a new "Together Mode" and "Dynamic View" for virtual Teams meetings.
  • Together Mode puts you and your teammates in a virtual room together, while Dynamic View gives you more control over what participants see in meetings.
  • Both features are expected to be generally available in August.

More people are working from home than ever right now, which can leave you feeling a little disconnected from your teammates. In an update expected later this year, Microsoft Teams will try to break down some of those barriers with new viewing modes in your meetings. One of them is Teams' new "Together Mode," which quite literally puts you and your co-workers in a (virtual) room together.

"Together mode is a new meeting experience in Teams that uses AI segmentation technology to digitally place participants in a shared background, making it feel like you're sitting in the same room with everyone else in the meeting or class," Microsoft said in a blog post (opens in new tab) today. The goal, Microsoft says, is to make it easier for meeting participants to be able to pick up on visual cues and see who is talking.

Microsoft says the Together Mode auditorium view is rolling out now and is expected to be generally available in August. More Together Mode views will roll out later, including the coffee shop view pictured above.

In addition to Together Mode, Microsoft also has a new "Dynamic View" that gives meeting presenters mode control over the content of what participants are seeing. "Using AI, meetings dynamically optimize shared content and video participants. New controls — including the ability to show shared content and specific participants side-by-side — let you personalize the view to suit your preferences and needs."

Dynamic View is expected to roll out to Microsoft Teams later this year. It will join Microsoft's large gallery view, which lets you see more participants on the screen at once and is expected to launch in August.

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

  • Awesome. I need a Teams Display. Would really fit my daily workflow
  • Incredible achievement. Teams rocks.
  • I wish they'd improve your ability to make "eye contact". Right now, everybody is staring down since the faces, when presenting, are at the bottom on the screen yet most cams are at the top of the screen. In the pic in this article, notice everybody is looking directly at the cam which means they aren't looking at faces. So this is all marketing eye candy. In reality, they should show everybody staring at that coffee cup on the counter rather than looking straight ahead.
  • This is a problem with every webcam in the industry, including phones. You're right, it's a problem to solve if we want realistic interaction. But it seems it's not as easy as it is to say it.
  • This all looks amazing but my only concern is that the rollout of features isn’t as clear as it could be. I’m a Teams Admin and it’s almost criminal to show features and then users can’t use them due to staggered rollouts when COVID-19 has brought video conferencing to the forefront. I’ve had clients move to other platforms just because new Teams features have taken so long to arrive to General Availability compared to what the competition offers.l currently. I look forward to Teams having all of the features in that video as it will definitely make Teams feel more modern and more socially engaging.
  • This is a bit silly. But meanwhile, you can't do this with actual VR software for WMR. Another proof that MS is a million little projects each one working on their own stuff. Still happening in 2020.
  • As a teacher I hope they have a dynamic classroom lol. Should be interesting.