Exciting Changes to Teams and Other Microsoft Services

You already know how much we here at Interplay love Microsoft Teams as a secure remote work collaboration tool and flexible phone solution, but now Microsoft has announced and released a slew of new, great features that make Teams even better. 

The Microsoft folks have also announced that they’ll probably be updating their, er, update schedule – so we wanted to let you know about that too. 

TL;DR: Teams is getting great new updates to support the hybrid workforce, including an improved webinar experience. Hooray! Get in touch with Interplay to learn more.

New Features and Functions in Microsoft Teams

This year’s Microsoft’s Inspire conference spotlighted a LOT of new updates for Microsoft Teams.

Here’s a short list of the Microsoft Teams updates we’re most excited about:

  • Real-time collaboration in Excel within a Teams meeting
  • “Video clip” function that lets you record and share short clips in a chat
  • Teams Connect, which lets users from different organizations collaborate in a shared space with better reporting 
  • Responsive and adjustable iPad display for Teams that responds to size, app orientation, and display modes
  • “Chat with self” function for storing notes, files, and drafts for easy organization
  • LinkedIn integration that provides contact details in chats, channels, calls, and meetings
  • Chat linking between Dynamics 365 (ERP) and Teams 

One of the biggest overhauls in Teams relates to how the webinar experience works. We admit, we’re really pleased to see that Microsoft is adding a lot of the functionality we’re all used to from GoToWebinar, but at a much more reasonable price point. 

Here are some of the Teams webinar highlights we love:

  • Improved webinar management experience for internal- or external-facing webinars, with up to 10 co-organizers / presenters
  • Structured Q&A experience that makes it easier to manage and moderate questions
  • Detailed speaker bios in webinars with LinkedIn and other social media contact info
  • Better polling functions, including a new app called Polls with the ability to reuse poll questions instead of having to create them from scratch every time and a new five-star rating option that lets attendees rate poll questions and aggregates their answers

Microsoft Updates Their OS Release Schedule

Like all of you, we have a love/hate relationship with operating system (OS) updates. 

Sure, new updates introduce great new features that make work easier while adding critical functionality that helps your systems run faster and more smoothly… but darn it, installing OS updates can be a disruptive pain in the neck. Maybe Microsoft feels this way too. 

In fact, Microsoft recently announced that they’re probably switching to a new schedule in which Windows 11 features will roll out up to four times a year, and a “major” new release will happen every three years. 

The good news about this is that you won’t have to update your OS starting in 2023, as previously planned by Microsoft – you get to wait until 2024. That’s a relief. 

The other good news about this is that you don’t have to overhaul your whole OS annually to get access to cool new functions, you just have to install mini-updates throughout the year. That doesn’t sound too bad. 

The bad news is… wait, what’s the bad news? We were going to say that this takes some planning and effort from your IT team, but we’ll be handling all that for you, so… yeah. No bad news here. Whew! 

Get More from Your Systems

As a support helpdesk, IT management company, cybersecurity expert, and Virtual CIO, you rightly expect us here at the Interplay team to take care of your IT systems and networks around the clock. You also rightly expect us to advise you on smart IT decisions for the future. 

However, you may NOT expect us to help you and your team use your systems better and with increased security awareness – but that is something we’re happy to help with too. If you’d like to schedule a training to help you and your staff make better use of your systems and devices, or your software like Microsoft Teams, just get in touch. 

Whatever You Need – Ask Interplay

For 20+ years, the friendly and knowledgeable IT services team at Interplay has helped business leaders across a range of industries get more out of their tech, stress free. Not only are we always (and we mean always) happy to offer the best managed IT services, support, and advice, we’re also the team you can trust for the best cocktail recommendations here in Seattle or in Disney World – we’re versatile! All humor aside though, we’d love to help you get your IT running smoothly and securely, around the clock.