Azure Virtual Desktop Users Get Teams Backgrounds and Windowing

Users of the Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) service now have access to some basic Microsoft Teams functionality.

Microsoft this week announced the ability to use background images during Teams videoconferencing calls and the ability to run Teams components in windows. Both capabilities are long-time staples for conventional Microsoft Teams users, but they are now at the "general availability" commercial-release stage for Teams users of the AVD service.

Organizations wanting to use the new Teams enhancements for the AVD service optimally need to be using the Teams Desktop Client version or higher, the announcements indicated.

With the improvements, Teams video call participants using the AVD service can select various backgrounds for a videoconferencing call, instead of showing the room they're in. They also can blur a room via a "background blur" feature. A "Background Filter" feature in Teams lets users make those changes.

Also, AVD users can now use windowing in Teams to pop out things like "chats, meetings, calls or documents." These windowed apps can run full screen, too, Microsoft indicated:

Previously, during a Teams meeting, if a user went to check their calendar, the meeting window would minimize to the corner of the screen. Now with Multi-window support, users can view full-sized separate windows for meetings/calls and the main Teams client during a Teams meeting.

Microsoft also has now positioned the controls for Teams meetings, such as "mute, video, chat and leave," at "the top of the meeting window" for AVD users. That change makes the controls "always available" without blocking other content.

Teams users of the AVD service also have access to a "Call me" feature. It lets users access the audio portion of a Teams meeting via a phone, which can be a cell phone or a landline phone. Teams users might want to use the Call me feature "when using a computer for audio might not be possible," Microsoft explained.

AVD is Microsoft's virtual desktop infrastructure service that went live a couple of years ago. With this service, desktops and applications get accessed remotely from a virtual machine housed in Microsoft's datacenters.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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