“If you want to speak put your hand up!” Microsoft Teams introduces ‘mute all’

In a move by Microsoft Teams to address some fundamental gaps in its virtual meeting capability, meeting organisers now have the ability to permanently mute call participants until they raise their hand and get permission to speak.

Microsoft says that meeting organizers and presenters can now prevent attendees from unmuting themselves during the meeting (there is always one) and enable specific attendees to unmute after they press ‘speak’. This is essential for any large meeting where you want to avoid potential embarrassment (which could be anything from a dog barking to a toilet flushing, albeit many of us have got better at hitting the mute button since those early days of COVID-19.) Microsoft has long been aware for demands for the mute all/stay muted functionality, which is available in rival video conference platform Zoom.

Other new features include:

Live Captions with speaker attribution

Microsoft Teams has added speaker attribution to live captions so that you can see who is speaking along with what’s being said, making meetings more inclusive and easier to follow along.

Spotlight an individual video participant for all attendees in a Teams meeting

Presenters can now pin an individual video feed for all attendees to see during a Teams meeting. Once pinned, the individual identified as the spotlight will be the main video shown to all participants. This applies to PC, Mac, mobile (view only) and Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows.

Microsoft Whiteboard read-only mode

Microsoft Whiteboard read-only mode is available in Teams allowing for more flexibility for you to either present the digital whiteboard in read-only mode, or to allow others to edit and collaborate when given access.

Meeting & Calling recordings stored in OneDrive and SharePoint

Teams meeting and call recordings can now be stored in your OneDrive for Business or in SharePoint, providing the ability to share recordings with guests or external users, access meeting recordings faster, and manage recordings with security and compliance controls available to other file types in Microsoft 365. Teams Admins can select their recording storage location by updating policies using PowerShell.