Microsoft introduces a new look to Teams Rooms for Windows

Microsoft is updating Teams Rooms’ user interface to be consistent between the Windows and Android operating platforms.

Teams Rooms for Windows devices will soon receive a visual upgrade that will align them with Android consoles for Teams Rooms and the Rooms on Windows PCs and displays. According to Microsoft, the upgrades will be broadly accessible by the end of Q1 and in Teams Rooms on Windows version 4.16.

Microsoft is putting updated soft buttons for Meet, Call, Share (for HDMI material), Join via ID, and a More button for the overflow menu on the Windows console.

The new overflow menu screen has a function called “Invite this room,” which allows a Teams meeting started on a partner device to use the room audio and video. Additionally, it features buttons for accessing settings, reporting issues, restarting devices, and accessibility.

Through an improved UI for the view switcher menu, which allows users to switch between Gallery, Together Mode, Front Row, and other views, Microsoft is giving end users more control over the front-of-room display during a meeting. Additionally, various customization options are available, including whether to display both content and people or simply people.

Additionally, users can choose which meeting component is displayed on the left and right panel, as well as whether or not a visible meeting chat is included in the Front Row view.

Microsoft provided its first update on monthly active users since January 2022, when it announced Teams had 270 million monthly active users, at this month’s financial year 2024 Q2 earnings report. Teams had topped 280 million monthly active users as of the most recent quarter, indicating that growth has slowed considerably after the pandemic, which increased Teams’ daily active user count from 44 million in March 2020 to 145 million in April 2021.

Microsoft also stated that there were over 500,000 active Teams Rooms devices, an increase of 70% year over year, representing the return of more workers to the office.

Microsoft will make its Teams Premium add-on, which has been in preview, generally available in February. It delivers cutting-edge security and meeting recaps driven by AI for $10 per user each month. Microsoft reported that during the preview, there was “high interest” in it.

Customers with active Microsoft 365 or Office 365 licences can add Teams Premium as an add-on to their current Microsoft 365 services after it becomes broadly accessible. However, in the first half of 2023, intelligent recap will start to roll out.

Teams Rooms Standard ($15 per device per month) and Teams Rooms Premium ($50 per device per month) have been replaced by Microsoft Teams Rooms Basic and Teams Rooms Pro.

Up to 25 Microsoft Teams Rooms Basic licences can be freely assigned by Teams admins to Teams Rooms devices, however these licences have less functionality than those included in the Standard subscription. Teams Rooms Pro, which costs $40 a month for each device and supports more than 25 devices, is required.

After making a sizable investment in ChatGPT creator OpenAI last month, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella declared that the company would “incorporate AI in every layer of the stack, whether it be in productivity, whether it be in our consumer services.”

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