Department of Information Technology

What’s New in Microsoft Teams - March 2022  

Co-organizer Meeting Role
Organizers will soon be able to assign the co-organizer meeting role to up to 10 specific people they invite to their meeting. Co-organizers will be granted most of the capabilities of the organizer in the meeting, including being able to access & modify the meeting options for the meeting.

Usage of the co-organizer role for a meeting will be optional. If users choose not to use the co-organizer feature, there will be no change.

Once this feature has been enabled, a “Choose co-organizers” meeting option will be available. The default value for this option is “None.” The option operates similarly to when “Specific people” are selected as presenters for the meeting. The meeting organizer can click on the selector box to open a dropdown menu where they can choose from the list of qualified people who have been invited to the meeting.

Co-organizers will be displayed as additional organizers on the meeting roster, and they will have most of the capabilities of an organizer in the meeting. Co-organizers can do the following:

  • Access and change meeting options
  • Bypass the lobby
  • Admit people from the lobby during a meeting
  • Lock the meeting
  • Present content
  • Change another participant’s meeting role
  • End the meeting for all

Co-organizers cannot do the following:

  • Create & manage breakout rooms
  • View & download attendance reports
  • Manage the meeting recording
  • Edit the meeting invitation
  • Remove or change the Organizer role

Pin or hide your own video in Teams meetings
We have now expanded the ability to pin your own video on the meeting stage. This way, you can see your own video in the increased size on your screen. Inversely, you also can hide your own video during a meeting on others' screens. This will reduce distractions during calls while still having your video available for other participants. To pin or hide your video, simply click on the ellipsis (…) in your video feed and select Pin for me or Hide for me.

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Mute Notifications During Meetings
Users will be able to mute notifications during meetings thereby helping focus during meetings. A user can choose to mute notifications for all meetings or per meeting basis. To turn off notifications during all meetings, go to settings -> notifications-> meetings and calls and toggle the Mute Notifications during meeting button. To turn off notifications during a specific meeting, click on the ellipsis and choose mute/allow notifications.

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Chat density
Depending on your monitor size and viewing preference, you might want to change the amount of spacing that appears in chat messages. Whether you want to optimize to see more text at once or read less text at a more comfortable level, Teams lets you customize the chat density to suit your needs. Click on ‘settings’ -> ‘general’ and choose the right spacing for you. Chat density feature lets you customize the number of chat messages you see on the screen with different settings. Compact setting lets you minimize the need to scroll up and down by fitting 50% more messages on the screen. Comfortable setting keeps the chat display as it is in Teams today.

Press to Unmute
Stay muted to avoid unwanted background noise during a meeting and rapidly respond when called upon. You can now use a shortcut to unmute by holding down the Ctrl+Space keys (Windows) or Option+Space keys (macOS), then release the keys to go back to muted state again. This feature is on by default. To disable, go to your Teams Settings > Privacy section and uncheck Keyboard shortcut to unmute.

Music mode for Teams
High-fidelity music mode enables Microsoft Teams users to experience richer sound experiences when sharing non-speech content such as live music, songs through other applications, or medical signals during a virtual appointment with a physician. High-fidelity music mode enables significantly improved audio quality in Teams calls and meetings. The optimized experience in Teams applies to signals captured by microphones as well as audio played while sharing an application or desktop. Learn how to experience high-fidelity audio in Teams.

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New and exciting features available for Microsoft Teams breakout rooms

Organizers can now reassign participants even when rooms are open, ensuring the right participants are in each breakout room and can be easily reassigned when needed. Participants also remain assigned to their breakout rooms unless the meeting organizer chooses to change them. Assignments persist across subsequent sessions and for recurring meetings, so organizers do not have to repeat assignments.

The participant assignment experience also has an updated, useful interface available both before and during meetings. When organizers select Assign Participants in the breakout rooms’ right panel, a separate window pops up with a larger view of all the participants and rooms. Organizers can sort by participants or rooms, in addition to selecting multiple participants for room assignments. Imagine speeding up the assignment process by being able to quickly find the right participant(s) or room(s) and multi-assigning by using the checkboxes.

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Control the duration of your breakout sessions by setting up breakout room timer in the settings. The timer is visible to the participants, counts down the time left in the room, and alerts participants 60 seconds from when the breakout room session will close. Once the timer has expired, rooms will automatically close, and participants will return to the main meeting if auto-move is enabled. Alternatively, if auto-move is disabled, a prompt is shown that allows participants to decide whether to move back to main meeting or disconnect.

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Need help managing breakout rooms? Breakout room managers support allows organizers to extend the management of breakout rooms to up to 10 presenters during a meeting. Only presenters can be appointed at this time. While only one manager can take control at a time, the designated breakout room manager will be able to perform in-meeting operations such as:

  • Assigning users to rooms
  • Adding/deleting rooms
  • Opening/closing rooms
  • Reassigning users to rooms
  • Sending announcements
  • Re-creating rooms
  • Setting timers
  • Adjusting other breakout room settings
  • Joining open rooms
  • Sending announcements

All breakout room managers—including those not in control—can join opened breakout rooms by clicking on the menu next to each room and selecting Join room. However, inactive managers can only join open rooms as participants (read-only). They do not have the ability to manage breakout rooms unless they request control by clicking the Manage rooms button.

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Get an early start by creating breakout rooms and participant assignment tasks ahead of your meeting. Simply open a Teams meeting invite, navigate to Breakout rooms, and select Create rooms. Organizers can choose how many rooms they need and create them in advance. This feature reduces admin overhead and improves meeting efficiency. Additionally, organizers can perform the following tasks before the start of the meeting:

  • Bulk creating or deleting rooms
  • Adding, deleting, or renaming individual rooms
  • Configuring meeting options for each room
  • Adjusting settings (like timer) for breakout rooms session
  • Preassigning participants via both manual and automatic assignment options
  • Selecting breakout rooms managers (only explicitly invited presenters from same tenant are available currently for assignment as breakout rooms managers)

At this time, pre-meeting features can only be accessed by meeting organizers prior to the start of the meeting and when all breakout rooms are closed. Once the meeting starts, breakout rooms can only be managed via the breakout room panel in the active meeting. Up to 300 participants can be invited to the meeting, however only the same tenant or federated tenants are available for pre-assignment.

With pre-meeting room feature and participant assignment, organizers can reduce last-minute setups by conducting all configurations in advance.

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