Microsoft is looking to capitalize on the surge in Teams usage with a range of new devices that play nice with its work collaboration software. To coincide with its new productivity-focused Surface Laptop 4, the company is releasing four new accessories including its first webcam in roughly a decade, two headsets for business and a USB-C speaker. The new range follows Microsoft's introduction of a Teams device certification program last year for third-party products offering a dedicated Teams button and a premium mic for workplace calls. Since then, peripherals maker Logitech and headphones manufacturer Jabra have both launched products that meet the requirement and now Microsoft is following suit.
After a lengthy absence, the company is today debuting a new "Modern Webcam" that offers 1080p video at 30fps with support for HDR. The device, which can be attached to your machine or desk or a tripod, features a standard 78-degree field of view and "True Look" features such as facial retouch, fixed light adjustment and auto focus. For privacy, the webcam comes with an integrated shutter with LED usage indicator, so you can stay off camera when you want. Microsoft says the new webcam is designed for face-to-face calls including Teams meetings.
In terms of its design, the device looks like an an updated version of the LifeCam HD 3000, which was originally released in 2011, with more rounded edges. At 88.3g, it's also around 8g lighter than the older webcam. You'll be able to grab the device in June for $70.
As for the new headsets, they include a "Modern" model (in a wired and wireless variant) and the Surface Headphones 2+. Both come with a Teams button that brings the app to the forefront of your PC screen, lets you quickly join a meeting and check your missed calls and voicemail. Though, the certified features require the included USB dongle to work. The $300 Surface Headphones 2+ offer the same comfortable fit, thanks to the rotating cups, and also retain active noise cancellation. Microsoft adds that the Teams certification allows for "improved remote calling," but we'll have to see how well they work. The Surface Headphones 2+ are available to order now, while the $50 wired headset ships in June. Microsoft says details on the wireless headset will be announced soon.
Finally, the $100 Modern USB-C Speaker comes in a compact package — with integrated cord storage — to keep it from hogging up desk space. The device features a prominent Teams button along with additional controls for its dual, noise-reducing mics, for calls and volume. In addition, it has a 50mm full range driver and comes with a carrying case. The Modern Speaker also ships this June.