Microsoft Teams to introduce custom layouts, breakout rooms, and more

In the pandemic-defined era we live in, the concept of meetings has been forced to undergo an overhaul.

Microsoft Teams has become the new standard of how meetings are conducted, and in its package of updates, there are a number of new features.

Users will now be able to:

  • Set a custom background scenery
  • Break out the meeting into smaller rooms
  • Pretend to be sitting in a coffee shop (and similar)

It has been a couple of months since the introduction of Together Mode, which was designed for hosting virtual meetings during a pandemic, and it is now being expanded with an array of new features such as those stated above.

For instance, the core idea of using a custom background scenery is to enhance the user experience.

To achieve that, the attendees can pretend to be sitting in an auditorium, a coffee shop, a conference room, and more.

Irrespective of how far away an attendee is sitting from the camera, Microsoft’s technology will scale and centre them so that they align with the rest of the scenery.

If none of the pre-set sceneries appeal, then there is the option of uploading your own.

Later this year, Microsoft is planning to introduce breakout rooms, which will allow the group to be split into smaller fragments.

Once this is done, the presenter will have the option of entering and leaving a group at will.

For instance, a teacher might choose to use the feature to separate pupils into smaller groups for a project and check back on their progress later on.

Once the updates go live, Microsoft Teams will be able to handle up to 1,000 participants at the same time, and up to 20,000 viewers can join in using the view-only mode.

These updates are expected to go live at some point in the coming months.