You may have read about ‘new’ Teams features like ‘Raise Hand’ and noise suppression but not that they won’t go public until sometime ‘later this year’. Microsoft is doing its usual trick of promoting future features in their products as if they are available now. Only a close reading reveals the wait time before customers get to use the extras.
Not sure that’s what we need these days. Better to talk about what’s available now rather than features due many months on. Even in these strange times, Microsoft can’t restrain their drive to push their products and crush the competition.
A Microsoft promotional post eight ‘new’ features, but look below the bullet points to see the important, but overlooked line.
“Unless otherwise stated above, the new capabilities will be available later this year.”
From the info provided the ONLY one of those eight that’s available now is the new licensing option for Teams. In other words, the quickly deployed ‘new’ feature is another way for Microsoft to sell Teams.
All the other promises, like a hardhat integrated with Teams (we kid you not) we’ll have to wait.
Even the heading is misleading “Everything you need to connect with your teammates and be more productive” and then talks about features not available now to ‘be more productive’.
Compare Microsoft’s ‘sometime soon’ vague promises to Slack, the main rival to Teams. Slack has new interface with ‘lightning bolt’ icon that’s released within days of announcement.
Raise Hand is a good example of Microsoft’s competitive push, no matter what.
Source: cropped from a Microsoft image
This feature is already in Zoom conferencing. It will let you flag your wish to speak in a video conference. Whether anyone will notice a tiny raised hand icon (especially from a woman) is something mostly beyond Teams <sigh>
Microsoft’s wording makes no promise about when this will be available …
“In large meetings, it can sometimes be difficult for remote participants to chime in when they have something to say. The raise hand feature lets anyone in the meeting send a visual signal that they have something to say.”
Real time noise suppression in Teams calls also got a lot of love from the media, few if any, mentioned that it’s not available yet. Just ‘later this year’.
Pop out chats
Apparently sooner than noise suppression will be more flexibility in the chat window. Chats will ‘soon’ able to pop out to a separate window. No word on whether this applies to the Teams apps, web interface or both.
“Teams will soon enable you to pop out chats into a separate window to help you streamline your workflow and move more easily between ongoing conversations.”
Offline and slow Internet support
Other welcome but untimed features will be great for those of us with limited or slow Internet access.
Offline support – chats will be saved and you can reply offline. Replies will be sent (presumably) as soon as your machine is online. Sounds much the same as what Outlook for Windows/Mac have been able to do since, well forever!
The Teams app already has some very limited (clumsy and buggy) document sync support which could also use more development focus.
Not sure what Microsoft means by ‘low bandwidth’ support unless it’s bundled into the offline chat feature.
Offline and low-bandwidth support lets you read chat messages and write responses, even without an internet connection, making it easier for you to move things forward no matter where you are.
What’s notably missing from the Windows Teams app is support for Metered Connections. Metered Connections is a Windows feature to tag certain Internet connections and limit the bandwidth used. Outlook, Onedrive and Windows Update stop and warn when on a metered connection, surely Teams should too?