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What’s New in Microsoft Teams | October 2020

Published Oct 30 2020 08:00 AM 112K Views

Welcome back! This month we have a packed blog with a lot of new features that are now generally available to improve your experience with meetings and calling, chat and collaboration, as well as a number of new updates to Microsoft Teams devices. This blog also contains a few industry specific items for Education, Firstline Workers, and our Government customers. We have updates on Teams platform capabilities and we’re introducing a new section called “App spotlight” that showcases 3rd party apps available in Teams.

What’s New: Meetings & Calling
Live Captions with speaker attribution
Microsoft Teams added speaker attribution to live captions so that you can see who is speaking along with what’s being said, making meetings more inclusive and easier to follow along.


Spotlight an individual video participant for all attendees in a Teams meeting
Presenters can now pin an individual video feed for all attendees to see during a Teams meeting. Once pinned, the individual identified as the spotlight will be the main video shown to all participants. This applies to PC, Mac, mobile (view only) and Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows. Learn more



Prevent attendees from unmuting in Teams Meetings
Meeting organizers and presenters can now prevent attendees from unmuting during the meeting and enable specific attendees to unmute when they raise their hands. This can be helpful for press conferences and classrooms scenarios where you want to be in control of who’s speaking. Learn more

Prevent Unmute.png


Advanced Production for Teams Meetings

Transform your Teams Meeting into a virtual stage with a new advanced production option for broadcasts. Network Device Interface (NDI) support for Teams allows event producers to convert each participant's video into a discrete video source that can be used in the video streaming production tool of your choice. This functionality enables you to use Teams meetings in new ways, including bringing speakers into Together Mode or customized views, to deliver professional broadcasts to the end point of your choice and reach audiences wherever they are.


Microsoft Whiteboard read-only mode

Microsoft Whiteboard read-only mode is available in Teams allowing for more flexibility for you to either present the digital whiteboard in read-only mode, or to allow others to edit and collaborate when given access.



Meeting & Calling recordings stored in OneDrive and SharePoint
Teams meeting and call recordings can now be stored in your OneDrive for Business or in SharePoint, providing the ability to share recordings with guests or external users, access meeting recordings faster, and manage recordings with security and compliance controls available to other file types in Microsoft 365. Teams Admins can select their recording storage location by updating policies using PowerShell. Learn more

recordings in onedrive sharepoint.png

Changes in Incoming IP Video policy (New Audio and Video Policies)
We are updating our meeting policies to allow IT administrators more control over how video is managed in Teams meetings. Current policy can only be set to prevent outgoing video. We have extended the Allow IP Video policy to prevent both outgoing and incoming video as needed. Tenant administrators can use this policy to manage bandwidth. Learn more


What’s New: Devices
ARM64 Native Teams App
Unleash the full power of Microsoft Teams on your favorite ARM devices with the new native ARM64 Teams client now generally available. Stay connected and organized while enjoying improved performance, reliability, and battery life in devices such as the Surface Pro X.

New capabilities coming to Microsoft Teams Rooms
Features beginning to roll out to Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows include:

  • Spotlight support: Microsoft Teams Rooms now supports the spotlight feature in Teams meetings, which enables you as a meeting organizer or presenter to select a video feed as the spotlight for all attendees. Once selected, the individual identified as the spotlight will be the main video shown to all participants, which is great to make sure everyone focuses on, for example, the presenter.
  • Hard mute: This feature allows you as a meeting organizer to disable microphone controls for all meeting participants. This feature can be useful for scenarios like distance learning or executive board meetings where organizers want a higher level of control over who can unmute their microphone and when. Teams Rooms supports this setting and joins muted with microphone disabled unless granted permission.

Dell Meeting Space Solution for seamless onsite and remote collaboration
Dell’s newest Meeting Space Solution for Microsoft Teams Rooms offers a complete group collaboration ecosystem that includes the OptiPlex 7080 Micro running the Teams Rooms experience on Windows, Dell Large Format Monitors, plus Logitech Tap and ConferenceCams. With proximity detection and one-touch join, you can start a meeting while instantly projecting content in the room and to virtual participants.

meeting space solution.png


EPOS announces two new headsets certified for Microsoft Teams
The IMPACT MB Pro 1 UC ML and 2 UC ML have now passed the rigorous reliability testing required to be certified for Microsoft Teams. You can now experience high end audio tools that provide optimal comfort, easy call handling and rich, natural sound – all while reliable, intelligent technologies filter out unwanted noise, enhance audio and boost efficiency.


See the latest in Teams Devices at



What’s New: Chat & Collaboration

New offline presence status
Let others know when you are not available in Microsoft Teams. You can now change your presence to “Offline”. This allows you to have full access to Teams while signaling to colleagues that you are unavailable.


Language-aware proofing
Communicate using multiple languages in Microsoft Teams. If you write different messages in different languages, you now see spellchecking relevant to the language you use when typing a message in the Teams desktop app.

Templates for creation of a new Team
When creating a new team, you can now choose from a variety of customizable templates including event management, crisis response, as well as industry-specific templates like hospital ward and bank branch. Microsoft publishes a set of first-party templates and as an IT professional you can also create new custom templates for your organization, allowing you to standardize team structures, surface relevant apps, and scale best practices.



New file sharing experience
Team members share and work together on content from a single source of truth seamlessly with Microsoft Teams. You can now create a shareable link for any file stored in Teams and directly set the appropriate permissions. Additionally, you can also set permissions for files stored in SharePoint or OneDrive while composing a private chat or starting a channel conversation. Learn more


Updated SharePoint pages app
Using SharePoint pages is a great way to consolidate and share content in the right context using images, Excel, Word and PowerPoint documents, videos, links, Twitter feeds and more – all on the same page. And now you can more easily add your pages as tabs in Microsoft Teams. Learn more



New and simplified global notification settings
As a user you can now configure and customize your notification settings through a newly designed notification settings section. This new experience makes it easier to find the exact notifications you want so you can keep track of the activity you care about. To access, go to your profile picture > Settings > Notifications. We also added a new setting that allows you to turn off message previews in chat notifications if you desire more privacy.




What’s New: Teams for Education
Anonymous grading and marking in Assignments
Tackle unconscious bias and even the playing field in class with Anonymous Grading. When enabled in the assignment detail view, students’ names are anonymized and avatars are temporarily removed, presenting a random list of students. This allows you as an educator to review work with identities hidden, no shuffling of paper involved.



View assignments across all classes
Being able to see what’s upcoming, whether you’re an educator or student, is critical to getting a handle on your week, month, or year. Now both educators and students can once again view upcoming and turned in assignments by class or view them across all classes. Just visit Assignments in your app bar on the left-hand side of Teams to view assignments across all classes. Students can also filter by category, see the due date, and assigned value of the assignment and more.




What’s New: Firstline Workers
Off-shift access controls
With off-shift access controls, IT administrators can now configure Teams to alert you when you are accessing the app on your personal device outside of working hours. The feature prompts you to accept that you will not be getting paid for time spent on Teams to help ensure that you are not involuntarily working while not on shift and helps your employer to comply with labor regulations. The feature does not require active usage of the Shifts app, but it does require Shifts being configured and schedule data being inside the app; either added natively with Excel import or including workforce management API connectors like Kronos, BlueYonder and more. Learn more

Off shift access picture sub.JPG



What’s New: Government
These features currently available to Microsoft’s commercial customers in multi-tenant cloud environments are now rolling out to our customers in US Government Community Cloud (GCC), US Government Community Cloud High (GCC-High), and/or United States Department of Defense (DoD).


Priority notifications
Share urgent messages and time-sensitive information more effectively with Teams. Priority notifications alert a recipient of an urgent message on their mobile and desktop devices until a response is received, every two minutes for up to 20 minutes. IT admins can manage this feature as part of messaging policies in Teams. Priority notifications are now available in GCC, GCC High, and DoD. Learn more

Read receipts
Now available in GCC, read receipts in private chats allow senders to know that a message was read by the recipients. IT admins can configure messaging policies from the Microsoft Teams admin center to enable or disable this feature for users. Learn more

File viewer upgrades
Teams file viewer is being upgraded for Gov clouds from legacy to OneUp for non-Office file types and to unified app for Office file types (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel).

Together mode
Together mode, now available in GCC, uses AI segmentation technology in meetings to digitally place participants in a shared background, making it feel like you’re sitting in the same room with everyone else.

Large Gallery view (Preview) - see up to 49 participants
Large Gallery is providing a new way to view video up to 49 participants at once on a single screen (7x7). This feature rolled out to production with the new multi-window experience. To take advantage of this new view, users will need to turn on the new multi-window meeting experience. Large Gallery is now available in GCC.

Spotlight an individual video participant for all attendees in a Teams meeting
We are delivering the ability for presenters to lock on an individual video feed for all attendees to see during a Teams meeting. Once selected, the individual identified as the spotlight will be the main video shown to all participants. This applies to PC, Mac, mobile, and Microsoft Teams room systems. The spotlight feature is now available in both GCC and GCC High.

Improvements to meeting notes
Meeting notes now support 100 users by default. Also, if anyone joins your meeting past after it is scheduled and, doesn't have access to notes, they can now request access from the note’s owner in one click. Meeting notes are now available in GCC, GCC High, and DoD.

Changes in Incoming IP Video policy (New Audio and Video Policies)
We are updating our meeting policies to allow IT administrators on GCC more control over how video is managed in Teams Meetings. Current policy can only be set to prevent outgoing video. We are extending the Allow IP Video policy to prevent both outgoing and incoming video as needed. Tenant administrators can use this policy to manage bandwidth. Learn more


What’s New: Healthcare
Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare
Earlier this week we announced the general availability of our first industry-specific cloud offering, Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, including the new Microsoft Teams EHR connector for Epic EHR. This allows clinicians to launch a virtual visit in Teams from within their electronic health record system. Learn more about how and about the many new features now available as part of the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare.

Virtual Visits.gif



What’s New: Platform
Microsoft Teams and Power Automate - Simpler automation for everyone
A new Power Automate app for Teams makes automating workflows easier than ever with new templates and a simplified editor experience.

Organizational branding for line-of-business Teams app catalog
IT Admins can now customize their Teams line-of-business app catalog using their organization's branding. This enhances the user experience for end users and increase organic discovery and use of an organization's line-of-business apps. Learn more



Resource-Specific Consent now generally available on the Microsoft Graph v1.0 endpoint
We are excited to announce that Resource-Specific Consent (RSC) is now generally available on the Microsoft Graph v1.0 endpoint! Your Teams app can now call Teams Graph APIs from the BETA endpoint without needing admin consent. This capability empowers Team owners to install an app for their specific team and restrict the app’s scope and access to data to only that one team, without needing the global IT admin to provision access. Learn more

App certification
Publishers building Microsoft Teams add-ins can now work with Microsoft to certify that their app – and its supporting infrastructure – protect the security and privacy of sensitive customer data. Certified apps receive a badge that is visible in AppSource and from within the Microsoft 365 tenant administrator’s console. We strongly encourage app publishers to take advantage of this program, and over time, expect to make it a requirement. Learn more

Publisher verification
It’s critical that IT Admins and end-users know that partner apps come from verified sources. Using a process that relies on a verified Microsoft Partner Network account, Microsoft now offers application developers a publisher verification service. Verified apps receive a badge that is visible in AppSource and in the consent dialog when a user or admin installs an application. Learn more




Teams App Spotlight 

Clio 1.png

Clio is a cloud-based legal software that law firms trust to manage their practices and clients from intake to invoice. As the needs of legal professionals have changed over the last year, Clio has been focused on building solutions law firms need in this new digital-first reality. To make remote collaboration even easier, Clio customers can now check the status of their matter, scan recent communications, and plan for upcoming events all within Microsoft Teams. Learn more


Senior Member
Stunning amount of feature advancement. Nice job!
Occasional Contributor

I like the more-features Teams; however, I wish you can do some improvements in making the breakout rooms on Teams. It's not that easy to make them effective as I, as an educator, need to ask each group to leave the created channel in order to rejoin the main team (general). Can you enable us - the educators - to time each group so we assign two or three minutes for each group of students to discuss and do certain activities and then automatically all groups (or channels) end and rejoin the main team? It would be a great and innovative feature.

Senior Member

Impresionantes, los avances descritos, muchas gracias @Microsoft_Teams_team además de perfeccionar producto, generan un cambio de hábitos, para que la productividad siga su crecimiento.

Senior Member

@HananB There must be a failure: useually you can just close all rooms and all groups will rejoin automatically the main room. Works perfect. I have done a video on this. It is in german, but you can see here the function: 

Occasional Contributor

 Thank you for your care and your quick response; however, the youtube video wasn't helpful because I don't understand German. What's really annoying is that on my Teams App I don't see the breakout rooms icon that you have it on the video (see photo attached)! What to do here? Please, advise.


breakout rooms icon.PNG



Senior Member


breakout rooms are not rolled out already. I have this in my special MVP Tenant in preview. And some edu tenants have this.


 If you don’t have the Icon it is not in your tenant. The official announcement is that this will come mid or in November this year. Hold out! 

Occasional Visitor

Hi @Microsoft_Teams_team,


Any guesses when it will be available ?
I am very enthusiastic with some features and I am anxious to try features like: this new Pinned Posts and the Wellbeing Insights annouced on the end of september. I am stuck on version from 10/16/20 and no new version when I check for updates.


Anyway, thanks for the quick advances from this tool !


Occasional Visitor

@HananB It's coming- My school district was part of the pilot of Breakout Rooms for the last month or so and it has what you are asking for, and I just saw breakout rooms available for me in a different tenant that was not part of the pilot a couple of days ago which means it's starting to roll out in more places. It also just became available in channel meetings, which is new. It was only available in Teams Meetings outside of a Team.

Look for it- you should see it soon!


Occasional Contributor

MatthewNickerson Thanks for your message. I'm really awaiting for it because it's so beneficial and effective in the learning environment. I don't know why they are late in releasing it everywhere. Other applications as Zoom and Blackboard Collaborate Ultra have this feature of breakingout rooms which is easy to use. Let's hope Teams won't be late till the end of November. Thanks again, Matthew.

Occasional Visitor

@HananB I think when we compare to Zoom, we have to remember that Zoom only does one thing- virtual meetings. Teams is far more comprehensive, so their team is developing features around classroom assignments, integrating with roster and gradebook systems, integrating with the whole Office ecosystem, AND the meeting features, and both Microsoft Teams and Google Meet have been driving hard since March to add all the features consumers are used to in a platform like Zoom that specializes in virtual meetings, and I think in Microsoft's case, they are just about there. Google Meet is still way behind Teams, but they've made a lot of progress, too.

Senior Member

lots of great news. 
thanks for a great job 

Senior Member

There is basic functionality which after months of waiting is still not enabled for the Linux desktop client (and now functions like Spotlight have been added to that list). Please invest effort in bringing the Linux desktop client to the same level of functionality as the apps for Windows and Apple. Anyone reading this, please add your voice to this UserVoice page (though it should not be necessary to vote for basic functions to be added).

Senior Member

Pinned Posts

Keep important information easily accessible and top of mind with Microsoft Teams. You can pin any message in a channel, and it will appear in the channel information pane for all members of the channel to see.....


Is this feature released yet as I am not seeing how to do this.  I have been waiting patiently for this but tbh, I don't really see the value of pinning them to the channel info panel which is being used to keep other detail hidden.

Occasional Contributor

New offline presence status
Let others know when you are not available in Microsoft Teams. You can now change your presence to “Offline”. This allows you to have full access to Teams while signaling to colleagues that you are unavailable.

@Microsoft_Teams_team , guys, you fogot to put the "appear offline" presence status to the systray icon as well. I know screenshots are in German, but you understand :)




Inside Teams client:




Occasional Visitor

Teams has become invaluable, and the new features are great. Hoping to see continued development on the platform.

Senior Member

Storing meeting recordings in SharePoint and OneDrive is a fantastic move! I thought I was going to have to wait years to wait for Microsoft to bring Stream into the reach of Compliance Center

Senior Member

Would it be possible to have a channel landing page? Each channel leads to discussions by default. But we would like to have e.g. a project management channel, where after clicking we would be brought to the MS Project online plan, without the need to actually click the particular tab at the top menu / ribbon?

Super Contributor


But may I ask, where are the error corrections to the new meeting experience (or is it new anymore?)?

- Full screen view is still missing from presentation

- Recording is not available for the first person who is joining to the meeting

- Configuration for new meeting experience might not be stay selected

- Ctrl + k (adding URL into chat) is not working when meeting is own window, you need to go to main window

- Four fingers pray: Shift + Ctrl + Alt + 1 is not working on separate window, you need to go to main window


Also you still have a feature "end meeting", which basically kick out everybody from the meeting, but not ending meeting as everybody can still join to the meeting.


And then last but not least, a general issue: User Voice: When we get Teams version which does not requires "clear cache" to get it working proper... 

Occasional Visitor

There appears to be a bug in the Teams client for iPhone where the new raise hand to unmute feature does not allow the user to unmute their microphone after the meeting organizer has enabled the microphone. Are other experiencing this?

Occasional Visitor

Please can we get a notification setting in assignments where we can set reminders for students and teachers that the due date is reached etc.... 

Occasional Visitor

Hello @Microsoft_Teams_team 

I don't really know where to ask for this. At work we use Teams a lot, we share our screens and give/take control. It is very useful to be able to control the mouse and type on the other person's computer, but would it be possible to use our gamepad to interact with the screen we took control of? Like play a game on the other person's computer to show them how to do something or to try out something they newly developped?

Thank you for your help,

Sorry if it is not the right place to ask.


Senior Member

Teams New File Sharing Experience - Unavailable in Private Channels

Hello, our Education tenant has just received the Teams New File Sharing Experience and I have noticed in my testing that it doesn't appear as though the New File Sharing Experience works in a Private Channel. Is this by design?

Senior Member

For live captions speaker attribution, what is the source of the values being shown for the speaker names? For all of the users in our tenant, the name shows as the ActiveDirectory display name followed by the word "undefined." How can we correct this?


Can we please have some clarification on when breakout rooms will be released in the UK? We were told September, then October, then November, and still we do not have this feature. Staff at our institution have been waiting for this function for months.


It is disappointing to hear that meeting recordings are no longer going to be stored in Stream. This is likely to increase staff workload as we are required to have captions attached to all recorded material, and when videos were automatically uploaded to Stream staff only needed to embed the video in their VLE pages. Now staff will have to possibly download each video from OneDrive and then upload to Stream, then embed the videos. Can there be an option to select where the recording will be stored ourselves after each recording has been stopped? Or at least have an option for a default setting to be applied by the admin of an institution?

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