A look into the new features added in 2023 and what Teams users can expect in 2024.
Microsoft Teams continues to stand out as a leader in digital communication and collaboration tools. The platform is used by roughly 300 million organizations around the world thanks to its myriad of collaboration and productivity tools. And this number is only expected to grow as Microsoft continues to add new features and updates to the platform.
Kevin Zollinger, Senior Microsoft 365 Architect at JourneyTEAM stated: “When Microsoft decided to make Teams your ‘one pane of glass’ way to create and collaborate, they weren’t interested in half-measures. Just this year, we’ve seen the addition of a new, from-the-ground-up version that cuts load time and meeting join times at least in half, and dramatically decreases how many resources are needed on your Mac or PC.”
Below, we’ll look at some of the new capabilities included in the platform from earlier this year as well as some of the features expected to be released in 2024.
Microsoft Teams Updates: June 2023 to November 2023
Immersive Presentation Mode
One of the standout additions to Microsoft Teams is the Immersive Presentation Mode. This feature takes virtual presentations to a whole new level by providing a dynamic and engaging environment. You can now seamlessly present your content with a variety of interactive tools which creates a more engaging, collaborative meeting experience.
Enhanced Security Features
In response to the ever-growing concerns about cybersecurity, Microsoft Teams has reinforced and strengthened its security measures. Released in August of 2023, Microsoft updated its encryption protocols and multi-factor authentication options, ensuring that sensitive information shared within your Teams environment stays secure.
AI-Powered Background Noise Cancellation and Portrait Blur
Recognizing the importance of clear communication, Microsoft Teams has integrated AI-powered background noise cancellation. The feature automatically filters out ambient noise, providing a more focused and professional audio experience during meetings and calls.
The portrait blur feature allows you to blur your video during a meeting, bringing more focus to you and less to your background. This also helps to cut down on distractions.
Live Reactions and Emoji Responses
To add a touch of fun and expressiveness to virtual interactions, Microsoft Teams introduced live reactions and emoji responses. You can now react in real-time to messages and content, fostering more dynamic, engaging, and fun conversations with your colleagues.
Microsoft also improved the platform’s usability features. You can now see each attendee's name, and all reactions, or raised hands during video meetings. Additionally, you can see if someone’s muted, speaking, spotlighted, or pinned.
Enhanced File Collaboration
A more recent update brought improvements to file collaboration within Teams. Users can now co-author documents in real-time, making collaborative projects more seamless and efficient. Additionally, version history and commenting features have been enhanced for better document management. Finally, you can also copy and send the link of a group chat message with the link taking the recipient directly to that message.
For a comprehensive list of all the updates made in Teams this last year, click here.
Looking Ahead to 2024 Microsoft Teams Updates
With 2024 only a few weeks away, Microsoft Teams has exciting plans for the future, aiming to further revolutionize the way you and your team collaborate. Some anticipated features include:
Integration with Dynamics 365: Microsoft has announced its plans to integrate more closely with Microsoft Dynamics 365. The integration will further streamline workflow processes and provide a more unified platform for business operations.
Advanced project management tools: Microsoft Teams is expected to roll out advanced project management tools, offering features like task dependencies, Gantt charts, and resource allocation for a more comprehensive project collaboration experience.
Virtual reality meetings: To enhance virtual reality experiences, Teams is exploring virtual reality (VR) meeting capabilities The futuristic feature will enable users to conduct meetings in an immersive virtual environment, breaking down geographical barriers even further.
Enhance Your Teams Environment with JourneyTEAM
With the recent updates and even more coming in the future, Microsoft Teams continues to solidify its position as a go-to platform for remote collaboration and communication.
Kevin further discussed how new updates can help teams avoid more drudgery than ever before. “Microsoft continues to make other improvements and adjustments to increase your productivity and efficiency every day. Teams can really turn you into a rock star if you leverage it properly. That’s where JourneyTEAM comes in.”
Together, we’ll help you customize and personalize your Teams environment to your exact business needs. With a customized Teams platform, you can enhance your teams’ communication and collaboration significantly and continue to meet the needs of your evolving workforce.