Microsoft Teams continues to gain momentum and popularity, with more than 13 million people using Teams on a daily basis. We on the product team couldn’t be happier to continually bring our users exciting features to make their jobs easier. After all, helping to drive workplace collaboration and build inclusive team culture is our job!
What’s New: Chat & Collaboration
Use priority notifications to make sure your most critical messages are addressed
Imagine a critical, time-sensitive situation at work—from needing a hospital patient’s medical history, to needing a quick price check on an item in the warehouse. With priority notifications you can send someone an urgent message on their mobile and desktop devices. This means that the recipient will be notified of the message every two minutes for up to 20 minutes, so you are more likely to get the response you need, quickly.
For a limited time, unlimited priority notifications in Microsoft Teams will be made available for all customers. This promotion will run from July 2019 to December 31, 2019. During this time, all Teams users will be able to send unlimited priority notifications. Find more information about licensing here, and more information about managing users’ messaging policies here.
Priority notification experience on a mobile device.
Get someone’s attention with @-less mentions
Hey you! Sometimes we need to call out our teammates by name, to alert them to important information, to ask them a question, or to give them recognition. Now you can simply start typing a person’s name (starting with a capital letter) and select the right contact form the list of suggestions to tag them by name. They will receive a notification, which they can click to go directly to the point in the conversation where they were mentioned.
Keep conversations focused with channel moderation
Channel moderation gives team owners and members who have been added as moderators, exclusive rights to create new posts in the channel and control whether team members can reply. This is a great resource for when you need to ensure that conversations in a certain channel stay focused and on topic. Learn more here.
Channel moderation admin experience.
What’s New: Meetings, Calling, & Live events
Use live captions to give subtitles to your Microsoft Teams live events and meetings
When hosting a meeting or event in Microsoft Teams, it is important to consider how all your audience members or participants will be consuming it. Now in preview, live captions & subtitles allow attendees to read speaker captions in real-time—helping to improve the accessibility and effectiveness of meetings (private preview) and live events (public preview). This is a game changing feature for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, have different levels of language proficiency, or are connecting from a loud location.
Captions and subtitles in live events supports more than 50 languages, so participants can easily select the one that optimizes their experience. Today in private preview, meetings support live captions in English, with more languages coming soon!
Discover usage trends with live events usage reports
Easy access to data and reporting makes it much easier to optimize for future events. Now, admins can easily identify trends across the organization including usage information, event status, views, and who in your organization schedules, presents and produces live events. Learn more here.
Live event usage report.
Updates to Microsoft Teams Rooms to make your meetings experiences even better
In the month of July, the Microsoft Teams Room (MTR) app update 184.108.40.206 was rolled out via the Windows store. This app update included various client and service features for Microsoft Teams Rooms devices. This included a rebrand of the app from “Skype Room System V2” to “Microsoft Teams Room”, UI updates that make the Microsoft Teams Room app experience more similar to using your desktop and mobile clients, updated themes and imagery to the front of room displays, the addition of meeting controls on the MTR device, and the ability to rate call quality on the MTR device.
There was also the highly anticipated update that allows the use of Microsoft Whiteboard in Microsoft Teams Rooms. This means that when your room has a touch enabled device, you can have real-time whiteboarding sessions with remote participants!
Learn more about the Microsoft Whiteboard and the rest of the Microsoft Teams Rooms updates here.
Microsoft Whiteboard in Microsoft Teams Rooms.
Skype for Business Online will be retired on July 31, 2021
We have announced that Skype for Business Online will be retired on July 31, 2021 , and after that date the service will no longer be accessible. Please note that the Skype Consumer service and Skype for Business Server will both be unaffected by this announcement. Since launching Microsoft Teams in 2017 we have added to and refined the service as to be able to confidently recommend it as an upgrade to all Skype for Business Online customers. Customers who have already made the move tell us that Teams not only has helped them improve collaboration generally, it has also provided a rare opportunity to rethink the way work gets done in their organization. Learn more about the Skype for Business Online retirement plan and what we are doing to help customers migrate here.
What’s New: Teams Admins
Prepare your network with Network Planner (Preview)
We know that admins want to ensure that their network is ready to deliver the best Teams experience to their users. The Network Planner, found in the Microsoft Teams Admin Center, calculates your network requirements for deploying Teams and cloud voice across your organization’s physical locations. You only need to provide your network details and Teams usage. This feature launched in preview on July 1st. Learn more here.
What’s New: Teams for Firstline Workers
Clock in and out of work with time clock in Teams Shifts
The new time clock feature in the Teams Shifts module allows workers to clock in and out of their work shifts and breaks right from their Teams mobile app. Managers have the option to geo-fence a location to ensure team members are at the designated worksite when clocking in or out.
What’s New: Government GCC High and Department of Defense (DOD)
All these features are coming to the following US Government environments: GCC High and DOD
Work seamlessly with people outside of your organization with external access
Seamlessly communicate with people outside your organization with Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams external access allows users from other domains to participate in your chats and calls, including those who are still using Skype for Business Online or Skype for Business on-prem. This is rolling out now for Government GCC High and DOD, and will be completed by the end of August 2019. Learn more here.
Broadcast video and meeting content to large online audiences with live events
Live events in Microsoft Teams (both Teams and external app produced) became available in GCC on July 26th. Microsoft Teams live events are an extension of Teams meetings that enable you to schedule and produce events that stream to large online audiences. Learn more about live events here.
See people’s availability whether they are using Teams or Skype for Business with unified presence
Presence status for users (i.e. available, busy or in a call) is now aggregated between Teams and Skype for Business. This ensures that a user has a single presence state regardless of the app and the device they use. So, if you turn your status to “busy” on Teams, Skype users will also see your “busy” status. For this functionality, the underlying Skype for Business account that is connected to the Teams user needs to be hosted in Skype for Business online. This is rolling out now for Government GCC High Learn more here.
Teams users can now chat 1:1 with Skype for Business users
Interoperability (1:1 Teams – Skype for Business chat) is now available in the Government GCC High and DOD environments. A user that has been upgraded to Teams-Only mode can continue to communicate via chat with other users in the organization who are still using Skype for Business by using the interoperability capabilities between Teams and Skype for Business. This helps users stay productive while the organization transitions from Skype for Business to Teams. Learn more here.
Try the new features and provide feedback using the feedback link in the lower left corner of Microsoft Teams. If you have suggestions on how to make Teams better, please submit your idea via User Voice or vote for existing ideas to help us prioritize the requests. We read every piece of feedback that we receive (we really do!) to make sure that Microsoft Teams meets your needs.
— Marissa Salazar, Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft Teams