Microsoft’s latest updates to Teams that have rolled out since August target Apple silicon, live translation of speakers, and more controls for inclusive video conferences.
Teams users with laptops equipped with Apple’s M1 or M2 chips should be noticing a better experience as Microsoft broadens the rollout to a version of Teams as a universal binary that runs on Intel and Apple silicon. Apple started the rollout in early August and marked it as generally available in September. It didn’t give users an option to download the universal binary as it opted to roll it out automatically in increments.
Microsoft’s Cameo in PowerPoint live lets users integrate the Teams camera feed into their presentation. It was announced almost a year ago.
Also new in the past few months are collaborative annotations in Teams meetings, letting everyone add and scrawl comments on a shared screen while on a Teams meeting.
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Language interpretation became available for all Microsoft Teams Meetings in mid-September. There’s no clever AI involved in this feature, which lets organizations select a participant or hire an interpreter to translate what a speaker’s saying in one language to another. Meetings can have 16 different language pairs. It’s supported for regular scheduled meetings, channel meetings, meetings with up to 1000 participants, and webinars.
Another option, this time powered by Microsoft’s cognitive service speech translation capabilities is Live Translated Captions, but Microsoft only made that available in public preview in in early September.
Microsoft added chat message translation in Teams for iOS and Android. Teams detects when the language is not yours, and prompts the user to translate or never translate a particular language. To change translation preferences, users can go to Settings> General> Translation.
For the hybrid workplace, Microsoft has added noise suppression controls for in-room meeting participants on Teams Rooms on Windows devices. The controls are the same as those available for Teams desktop.
Again for hybrid, Teams Rooms on Windows devices with two front of room displays can now show up to 18 video participants, split 3×3 on each screen whenever there is no content being shared. Microsoft says this is more inclusive because it allows more people on screen at once. The other option for larger groups is Together mode and large gallery layouts, which support up to 50 participants.
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Microsoft last month rolled out new Teams Rooms subscriptions, diverging from the prior Teams Rooms Standard, which was $15 per device per month, and Teams Rooms Premium at $50 per device per month.
As of last month, the choice became Teams Rooms Basic and Teams Rooms Pro. Admins can assign up to 25 Teams Rooms Basic licenses to Teams Rooms devices for free, but with a few less features than in the Standard subscription. Any number of devices beyond 25 requires Teams Rooms Pro at $40 per month per device.