IT Brief New Zealand - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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Microsoft NZ launches new Teams features
Fri, 21st May 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Microsoft personal features on Teams is now available in New Zealand.

The features are available on desktop, mobile and web versions of the popular communications tool.

"From online calls that will make users feel in the same place as their loved ones to group chats that will make coordinating plans with their loved ones a breeze, these personal features in Teams are designed to bring users closer to call, chat, plan, and organise things big and small – together in one place," Microsoft says.

Robert Havranek, Microsoft 365 product marketing manager at Microsoft New Zealand, says, “Much of our lives are actually spent collaborating with people outside of work and getting things done is never as fun when we have to do it alone.

"With physical distance separating some of us due to the pandemic, we want to help everyone rediscover the joy of togetherness," he says.

"The personal features in Teams will provide users the ability to better connect, plan, coordinate, and share together online."

The new features have been rolled out to all existing Microsoft Teams customers and are now available worldwide.

Immersive video meetings with family and friends now made possible

To combat meeting fatigue, Microsoft is making Together mode, a key feature of Teams, available for personal use.

With Together Mode, users can:

Turn any regular video call into a shared virtual environment to simulate being in the same space as their family and friends.

Choose from a variety of new virtual environments such as a family lounge, coffee shop, or even a summer resort to make calls more engaging, fun and connected, even when apart. These include using live emoji reactions and GIFs to spice up calls, and the ability to come back to a chat thread to catch up on a conversation even if the user misses a group call.

Share video call links in Teams with anyone – even if they are non-Teams users and invite up to 300 people. Calls can also be joined from any devices (PC, Mac, iOS and Android phones) or web browser.

Simplify planning and organising personal lives with Teams

Users no longer have to coordinate across multiple apps to manage everyone's calendars and share documents. Teams simplifies this process with the ability to easily manage tasks both big and small without ever leaving their chats with the following features:

  • Bringing people together in a group chat simply by adding people using their email or phone number. Non-Teams users can also view and respond via SMS (text).
  • Convert a message from a group chat into a task to manage chores at home better.
  • Facilitate decision making through polling where anyone can take action based on the results, whether it's adding a group event or assigning tasks.
  • Toggle between different group chats and save time with the dashboard view in every chat that also provides user access to all shared information.
  • Strike a healthy balance between personal and work life

"Finding the right balance between personal life and work is important, especially in this “new normal”. With this in mind, we have designed Teams in a way that it allows users to keep their personal and work accounts separate where necessary," Microsoft says.

Start connecting with family and friends

Trying out the new features for existing Teams users is as easy as clicking onto a user's profile to add a personal account. And new users can download the iOS, Android or desktop app to get started.