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Microsoft Teams will add breakout rooms and automated meeting recaps

Updates also include more Together Mode scenes and custom layouts.
Kris Holt, @krisholt
September 22, 2020
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Microsoft Teams breakout rooms
Microsoft

Microsoft announced a slew of updates for Microsoft Teams meetings at Ignite, including more Together Mode scenes, custom layouts, breakout rooms and automated recaps. The maximum number of people who can attend a meeting is also expanding to 1,000 participants later this year, while Microsoft will bump up the view-only capacity to 20,000.

Together Mode, which Microsoft revealed in July, brings meeting participants into a shared virtual space to make it “feel like you’re sitting in the same room with everyone else in the meeting or class.” Later this year, more location options will be available, including an auditorium, conference room and coffee shop. In addition, Microsoft is employing its machine learning smarts to scale and position attendees in their virtual seats for added realism.

Also later this year, presenters will be able to customize meeting layouts. They might, for instance, position their video feed on top of their PowerPoint deck for that Twitch streamer aesthetic.

Custom layouts in Microsoft Teams
Microsoft

Starting next month, Microsoft will support breakout rooms, which will allow participants to split off into smaller groups. Presenters will be able to make announcements to all of those rooms, jump between them or close them and pull all participants back into the main meeting room.

Anyone who’s ever been tasked with taking meeting minutes knows how tedious that can be, and Microsoft should make things a little easier with automated recaps. Those will include a recording of the meeting, a transcript, chat and shared files. The recaps will be available in Teams and from the meeting event in your Outlook calendar. They’ll also soon be stored in Microsoft 365 so you can share them with folks who weren’t present at the meeting.

There are other updates on the way to Teams, including a streamlined view for calls, improved search and an increase in maximum team membership from 5,000 to 25,000.

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