New Microsoft Teams Updates for Commercial, Education, Government

By: Karen Dredske | February 7, 2023

Read April’s Teams update breakdown.

This month’s noteworthy updates are all part of meetings using Microsoft Teams. Commercial customers are now seeing a slowdown in new features while education and government customers are seeing an increase in features – bringing more parity between the different cloud environments.

Commercial

The only new commercial features this month are in the Teams meeting interface. The long list of options under the ellipsis (…) that says “More” has been split out and is now more intuitive.

  • Raising your hand and Reactions are no longer under the same dropdown. They are now separate.
  • The display window options are now separated – making it more intuitive to find different ways to view video and meeting materials being shared under the View option.
  • Coming soon: the ability to view more than one screen full of videos. When this feature reaches your tenant, you will be able to see all participants in a meeting.

Education

If you are in education and your learning management system (LMS) incorporates the Teams Meeting LTI app, teachers and students will be able to access video and attendance reports from inside your LMS.

Government

Microsoft customers in the GCC, GCC-High, and DoD clouds are getting some features that most commercial customers currently take for granted, including:

  • The ability to pop out a calendar and still be able to work in other areas of Teams.
  • Organizers can manage attendance information in Microsoft Teams for Android or iOS.
  • Use emojis to express yourself during meetings.
  • Disable or enable video for all attendees for DoD.
  • View up to 49 videos (7×7) for GCC-High and DoD during Teams meetings.
  • Meeting organizer and presenter(s) can manage audio / speaking capabilities of attendees during meetings.

What is Teams Premium?

The concept of Microsoft Teams Premium licenses was introduced at Ignite in Fall 2022. It became generally available December 16, 2022, for purchase as an add-on to a Microsoft 365 or Office 365 license – offering more security and customization to meetings in Teams. GCC will be launching March 1, 2023.

Grace Period Ends

Some features of a regular license have recently moved to Teams Premium. The 30-day grace period for the following features ended January 15, 2023:

  • Custom Together mode scenes
  • Virtual appointments, including:
    • SMS notifications
    • Organizations Analytics in the Admin Center
    • Scheduled queue view

The 60-day grace period for the features below ends February 15, 2023. At that time, they will be removed from your subscription unless you add them onto your Teams Premium license.

  • Live translation of captions
  • Timeline markers in Teams meeting recordings (join / leave meetings)

If you selected Teams Premium while it was in Preview, these changes will go into effect March 3, 2023, unless you purchase the add-on license.

Add-on licenses are $10 / user / month. For a limited time, Microsoft is making Teams Premium available for $7 / user / month or 30% off before July 1, 2023. You must already have an existing Microsoft 365 or Office 365 license to add on Teams Premium.

Premium Enhancements – Protected Meetings

If you have highly sensitive information that you are sharing in a meeting, you can now expect extra safeguards with Teams Premium. You can do the following:

  • Manage what attendees see
  • Safeguard confidential information with:
    • Sensitivity labels (requires E5 or E3 + Advanced compliance license)
    • Watermarking shared content
    • Preventing copy / paste in chat
  • Restrict who can record sensitive meetings
  • Guaranteed end-to-end encryption (E2EE) [for up to 50 attendees]

Premium Enhancements – Customized Meetings

Now you can brand your meetings with custom…

  • Meeting templates
  • Meeting themes
  • Organizational backgrounds
  • Custom Together mode scenes

Teams Premium – Premium Events (Webinars)

The following requested features for managing webinars will now be available:

  • Create a registration waitlist and allow manual approvals
  • Set a registration date and time limit
  • Registration summary
  • Automated reminder emails
  • Virtual green room for hosts and presenters
  • Can present terms & conditions to attendees
  • Can include presenter biographies

Teams Premium – Virtual Appointments (Bookings)

All the features below (except Custom Waiting Room) have moved from being a standard feature and are now part of the Teams Premium license.

  • SMS notifications (reminders)
  • Custom waiting room
  • Report showing scheduled and on-demand appointments
  • Analytics

Coming Soon: More Artificial Intelligence (AI) Efficiencies

If this wasn’t enough, the near future will bring more AI applications in Teams that will enable even more efficiencies. We will cover this more next month.

In the meantime, try Teams Premium with a 30-day trial for free, or purchase your add-on licenses for a limited time. Microsoft is making Teams Premium available for $7 / user / month or 30% off before July 1, 2023. You must already have an existing Microsoft 365 or Office 365 license to add-on Teams Premium.

microsoft teams remote work ebook

Karen is a Microsoft Teams Administrator, Microsoft Service Adoption Specialist, Business Analyst, and User Experience Architect with over 20 years of experience.

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