Microsoft Speeding Up Teams for Mac Devices, Plus Other Improvements
Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it has optimized a version of Microsoft Teams for Apple Mac devices that are using Apple silicon.
Specifically, this is a versions of Teams is designed to support all of Apple's Mac devices. It's a better optimized version that will run faster, the announcement suggested:
We are rolling out a production grade universal binary version of Teams, which means it will run natively on the entire Mac lineup, including those with Apple silicon. For Mac users, this means a significant boost in performance, ensuring efficient use of device resources and an optimized Teams experience even when using multiple high-resolution monitors during calls or meetings.
Mac users don't have to do anything to get this optimized Teams version, as Mac devices will be "automatically upgraded" to it. Microsoft is planning a gradual rollout, though, with "general availability" commercial release expected "over the coming months."
Teams Chat Embedded in Dynamics 365
Teams chat embedded in Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft's enterprise resource planning solution, is currently at the preview stage. It's scheduled to reach general availability in September, Microsoft had earlier announced.
With embedded Teams chat, Dynamics 365 users can start a chat from Dynamics 365. They can use records in Dynamics 365 to start a chat. Sales teams also can see all "connected chats" related to a customer record. The announcement highlighted this latter capability for occasions when a sales rep leaves an organization and others need to know what happened with an account.
Apparently, IT pros need to turn on this connected chat capability, if wanted. It's described in this document.
While connected chats can be used to share Dynamics 365 records information with another person, "the recipient doesn't need a Dynamics 365 license to collaborate," the announcement clarified.
Other Teams Enhancements
Microsoft also described Teams enhancements that were racked up for the month of July, as listed in this announcement.
The big news for IT pros is that they can now "clean up individual policy assignments from users in bulk," which is an "Unassign Policies" feature added to the Teams Admin Center portal under the "Manage Users" tab. After cleanup, Teams users will "inherit the correct policy either via a group policy assignment or global organization-wide default."
For organizations using Teams with so-called "frontline workers," Microsoft added the ability for IT pros to "deploy up to 500 teams with 25 users per team using one PowerShell command." It's also possible to remove members. This capability is at the preview stage, per this document description.
On the end user side, Microsoft added a Device Test capability for Teams appointments, which will "validate camera, microphone, and browser compatibility, as well as the internet connection at any moment before the scheduled appointment start time."
The Forms app in Teams is getting replaced by a new Polls app, which has a bunch of user interface improvements, including the ability to use a new "Rating" feedback poll. The Polls app will be available from the Teams app store.
LinkedIn profiles are now integrated with Teams, allowing users to view them from "Teams chat, channels, calls or meetings."
Microsoft added the ability to message team owners in Teams via a @Team Owners" addition.
Microsoft suggested that Teams on iPad devices is "now more responsive to screen size, app orientation, and display modes."
Microsoft added the ability for users to hide or remove a call from their call history list when using the Teams desktop or mobile app. Microsoft also enhanced a Common Area Phone offering "to serve a wider variety of scenarios for customers without increasing the price."
Microsoft also added improvements for Teams Room devices, including a "Manage" button for checking out rooms or extending reservations. Teams calling functionality was also added for certain models of Spectralink Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) devices.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.