Microsoft Presenter + Review

Like similar decides, the Microsoft Presenter + can be used to control your PowerPoint and PowerPoint Live presentations.

The similarity ends here, however, as Presenter + is the first clicker that’s also Microsoft Teams certified, meaning it can also help you control and navigate your Teams meetings as well as providing control over your presentations when using PowerPoint Live from within Teams.

Microsoft say that “Presenter + reflects how work has changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic“.

Presenter + costs ~£69 so is not the cheapest “clicker” but is the first designed to work with Teams and brings meeting controls into your hand.

In the Box

… Is the Presenter + device and a charging Dock plus the usual manuals etc. The Presenter + can also be charged directly with a USB type C cable meaning you can leave the charger plugged into your laptop safe knowing that should you need to you can top up the charge with any USB cable.

The back of the device has a simple on/off switch a Bluetooth pairing button.

Set-up

Set up is easy.

  • Un-box the device and turn it on (there’s a switch on the back)
  • If not already installed, install the free Microsoft Assessory centre app from the Store
  • Head over to your Windows Bluetooth settings and pair the device. It also accepts pairing to multiple devices which is useful if you use a different device at home to when out and about, and even remembers any custom settings you apply to it.
Pairing the Presenter + in Windows 11
  • Open the Microsoft Accessory Centre and follow the on-screen prompts to set-up the device and customise any of the settings you wish to.
Walk through of set up and tutorial of Presenter +

Controls and Use

Microsoft Presenter + is not just a PowerPoint clicker.

In addition to the usual slide forward and back buttons, there is an also a giant Microsoft Teams button that allows you to quickly join Teams meetings and do things such as raise or lower you hand when in a meeting without reaching for your keyboard or mouse, giving a much more natural presenter experience. Microsoft also say that you can use Presenter+ with most other meeting apps, including Zoom, though I haven’t tested this yet.

Also on the device is a giant mute button, which can mute and unmute your microphone when in a call/meeting, and the remote nicely vibrates when your turn mute off, so that you know your audience can hear you talking.

You are also able to customise the left and right buttons to your individual needs using the Microsoft Accessory Centre app.

Customising the buttons on Presenter + using the Accessory Control App

Another cool feature which sets this apart from other clicker remotes is that you can use Presenter + to grab and focus the audience’s attention with the screen pointer by pressing the middle 🔆button.

Summary

The is well built, presenter remote that makes Teams Meetings and Presenting within them simple and easy. I’ve only had the joy of using this in a couple of meetings so far and the true test will be how it enables me to true be hands free.

Benefits of Presenter +
Image: Microsoft

One thing I wish it had, would be the ability to spotlight text/highlight text when presenting or zoom in / focus to a section of the presentation. It might be possible to do this via a keyboard shortcut programmed into the device, but I haven’t found a way of doing that yet.

The latest partnership between Cisco and Microsoft is the most significant breakthrough in video conferencing interoperability we seen yet.

Overview

Don’t underestimate this announcement. This news is huge in the world of collaboration. Cisco and Microsoft have always been competitors in this space.

For years, customers have been asking for a simpler way to achieve interoperability between Cisco and Microsoft Teams Rooms. At Microsoft’s global tech conference, Ignite last week, their asks may have been answered, giving customers the option to run Microsoft Teams by default on Cisco Room and Desk devices.

Cisco Rooms Powered by Microsoft Teams

Cisco acquired Webex back in 2007 for around $3.2 billion and used their leadership in unified comms to build out a world leading collaboration and conferencing platform. Webex competes with other collab giants including Zoom and of course, Microsoft Teams. This is not simply a “if you can’t beat em join em” thing though – there are some huge benefits to Cisco’s existing customers as well as to Microsoft and Cisco and their partners.

Cisco has been an innovative leader in the collaboration devices category for over two decades and their collaboration products have always been in high demand due to their design, reliability, and security. Cisco Devices for Microsoft Teams will help any organisation considering implementing Microsoft Teams Rooms or those looking to move from Cisco Webex Meetings and Meeting Rooms to Microsoft Teams as their default collaboration and meeting platform, since they will now be able to leverage much of their existing Cisco Devices in the process.

The Teams experience you know, on Cisco collaboration devices you’ll love.

Cisco .

In short, Microsoft Teams certified devices from Cisco promise to unlock greater flexibility and improved experiences for business, IT and employees.

Why this is good for Customers

We see these three key advantages of this newly released partnership for existing and new Cisco customers:

1. Cost Efficiency and Choice

By retaining and re using the investment in Cisco Video Conferencing technology which powers their Webex Meeting experiences today, organisations moving to Microsoft Teams can achieve significant cost savings, not to mention time and effort, from not having to purchase, implement, fit out and deploy new devices.

Organisations that have already got an investment in Cisco Room Devices that will support Microsoft Teams Rooms, will receive a firmware update as part of the update schedule. Once deployed, IT will be able to factory reset the device and choose between the full Cisco RoomOS experience or tailor the software for Microsoft Teams Rooms.

Cisco Devices certified for Microsoft Teams | image (c) Cisco

This provides greater choice both now and in the future as organisations will be able to choose the primary meeting platform that meets the needs of their business without having to rip-and-replace the hardware.

Initially, six of Cisco’s most popular meeting room devices and peripherals will be certified for Microsoft Teams, with more are expected to come later in 2023. The initial wave of devices to be supported are:

(c) Cisco – Schedule teams Room Support for Cisco Devices

2. Simplified and familiar management

One of the biggest headaches when moving to a different eco system and vendor is around how IT provisions, configures and manages meeting room devices.

Managing Teams Room devices is critical to scale. With the Cisco MTR solution, organisations will get all the benefits of Teams Admin Centre (subject to whether they are leveraging Teams Rooms Basic or Teams Rooms Pro) along with access to Cisco Control Hub. Control Hub is Cisco’s unified cloud device management platform with an analytics dashboard to elevate your workspace with environmental analytics and API integrations leveraging the wider Cisco ecosystem including DNA Spaces, your building management. systems and ITSM platform.

This provides consistency for organisations already invested in Cisco Devices who are familiar with Control Hub and a powerful, intuitive management interface for customers who are new to Cisco MTRs.

3. Streamlined, yet, familiar user experience

Since Cisco is baking interoperability into their room systems, it means that not only will users will benefit from a native Microsoft Teams Room experience on their Cisco Room Devices, including full access to the full range of collaborative tools such as PowerPoint Live, Teams Apps and Polls etc, but they will also be able to still natively join Webex meetings on Cisco devices that are enrolled into Control Hub.

“By enabling the Microsoft Teams Rooms experience on Cisco devices, customers have the flexibility to choose the experience they want on the devices they love”.

Cisco

With Cisco RoomOS powering Microsoft Teams Rooms, users will get access to all the  intelligence features they have ben familiar with in Webex such as the Frames Camera Mode, which uses individual framing for participants to ensure everyone is seen equally in any meeting. They will also be able to take advantage of Cisco’s audio intelligence [aka noise cancelling] which blocks out unwanted audio distractions. The camera and audio
intelligence features will be available through device settings via Room Navigator in case of non-touch devices and the right-side swipe menu on touch screen devices in and out of call.

Being able to continue to leverage these great features, will reduce platform learning curves as well as ensure organisations are leveraging the value and uniqueness of the Cisco Devices. 


Why this is good news for Partners

For Partners, like Cisilion who specialise in both Cisco and Microsoft collaboration solutions and services, we have also been longing for this to happen for years.

We see many organisations unable to justify the expense of meeting room technology refresh and re-investment who “simply want to move their meeting and collaboration platform of chois to Microsoft Teams”.

This new partnership means that partners are now able to better serve the needs of their customers collaboration strategy, budget, deployment schedule and hardware preference. There is no doubt that Cisco has some of the best video conferencing devices and technology in the market today, coupled with their phenomenal global support and maintenance that Cisco partners have leveraged to provide the stability and uptime guarantees that their global customers expect and demand. 

Why this is great news for Microsoft

Partnership is two way of course.

Cisco is a world leader in video conferencing and meeting room technology. The majority of their Webex room kit includes a wealth of clever AI powered tech such as speaker tracking, noise cancelling, occupancy sensors, environmental monitoring and integrated digitial signage technology as well being the only vendor that creates truly immersive panoramic meeting experiences such as the Cisco Panorama.

In the past, Cisco, Microsoft and Zoom have all collaborated jointly on developing a native video interop technology which uses Web RTC technology, called Direct Guest Join. This, while useful, is really around bringing better inter company collaboration than actually allowing organisations to run Teams as their preferred meeting technology and is limited in functionality.

Customers seem to be wanted to work with their choice of a communications platform of their choice. With the small (and arguably shrinking market share), Cisco are loosing out on revenue and market share in the hardware space by only supporting their native platform. Partnering with Microsoft seems therefore a sensible move and allows them to retain their quality brand and footprint I the enterprise that has been “forced” to invest in other AV vendors in order to deliver against their collaboration strategy with a Microsoft Teams.

Cisco and Microsoft’s new partnership will enable Microsoft to work. Collaboratively with Cisco (rather than compete) and bring a new class of innovation into Teams Rooms by borrowing some of Cisco’s smarts.

We understand that Cisco are already be working with Microsoft to integrate their DNA spaces services into the newly announced Microsoft Places bringing intelligence and analytics on how meeting spaces are used. This forms a major part of Cisco’s Smart Buildings initiative.

Cisco is giving additional flexibility and choice whilst bringing new innovation to Microsoft Teams.

Cisco

Wait – I have loads of Questions…

That’s ok – the news is still hot of the press. Cisco are running a number of partner and customer webinars and sessions over the next month or so.

We have collated the most common and obvious questions and attempted to answer them here:

1. What does this for the future of Webex?

Webex is a great product and trusted by many FTSE 100 organisations, but the market has shifted and is still shifting rapidly which Cisco clearly recognises.

Whilst we don’t have firm figures for market share from Cisco directly,  a 2021 report estimated that Zoom had a 46 percent share (though was very consumer skewed), Microsoft a 54 percent share and Webex market share of meetings was around 7 percent.

That said, Cisco does has a strong install base of Cisco Webex, which they will continue to support and develop.  Their devices will now be designed to support both Cisco and Mcirosoft Teams meeting platforms. They are committed to continuing to deliver the best user experience with Webex and will continue to invest in developments that optimise the Webex experience when running on Cisco devices.

Cisco have also said that they will provide Webex Meetings free as a ‘backup to Teams’ for customers using their devices as Mcirosoft MTRs.

2. What Cisco devices will not be supported?

Cisco Room Kit and Room Kit Plus will not be supported on Microsoft Teams since these run on hardware platforms that are currently unable to support Microsoft Teams Rooms. Cisco Desk and Cisco Desk Mini are also currently unable to run as Mcirosoft Teams devices due to hardware platforms that are unable to support native Microsoft Teams Display mode.

As such organisations can of choose from the range of non-Cisco Teams Room Certified devices from other vendors such as Yealink, Poly, Logitech or Neat.

Cisco recommend that their customers with medium sized room look to upgrade / invest in the Cisco Board Pro, which in addition to being an interactive collaboration device works, can also serve as an all-in-one meeting room system when paired with a Cisco Room Navigator.

3. How will this effect Zoom, and Microsoft Video Interop?

This will not change the either the in which third party (incuding Cisco, Pexip or Poly) Cloud Video Interop (CVI) work or the way in which the Web RTC based Direct Guest Join services work between the three VC platforms.

Cisco have said that they will continue to work with Zoom, Google, and Microsoft to enhance these meeting experiences. Both Microsoft and Cisco are also committed to
continue to enhance our respective WebRTC based guest join experiences. This  announcement means that in addition to the above, their devices can now be configured as Microsoft Teams Rooms devices – meaning they can deliver a native Teams user experience.

4. How do we license the Cisco Devices for Teams Rooms

Microsoft Teams Rooms licenses must be purchased directly from your Microsoft CSP Partner or from Microsoft as part of your Enterprise Agreement . For more information, see the core Teams Room Basic and Teams Room Pro pricing information.

Teams Rooms Plans and Pricing | Microsoft 365

5. Do we still need a Cisco Webex license for the device?

No – but Cisco strongly recommend that organisations buy the Webex Suite to ensure they can leverage the full value of running MTR on a Cisco Device. This is because customers who do not purchase a Webex Suite, will only be able to access Webex meetings via direct guest join, and will not be able to take advantage of the advanced management and workspace analytic capabilities of Control Hub.

6. How will Cisco differentiate their MTRS against the other MTRs?

Cisco’s approach here is that their existing (and new) customers will get to experience the best of breed audio and video intelligence features that have previously only been available to customers using RoomOS and Webex Meetings.

Cisco customers that have bought any part of the Webex Suite will get access to
Cisco Control Hub device management and fully featured Webex meetings within
Microsoft Teams Rooms.

“Cisco will continue to develop our hardware and software as award-winning, purpose built design, supreme hardware quality and broad device portfolio which makes Cisco Devices the best solution in market for Microsoft Teams.”

Cisco.

Want to know more?

With the digital ink still drying on the announcement, Cisilion are here to help our customers think (or re-think) and plan about how this may impact their meetings space, remote work and collaboration roadmaps.

Speak with Cisilion today to find out more about your interoperability journey from Cisco Webex to Microsoft Teams or how to achieve seemless interoperability between the two platforms.

Cisco are also hosting a customer webinar on November 8th – which can be registered for at https://cs.co/MTR

You now now annotate collaborately from any app in Microsoft Teams

Collaborative Annotations is another enhancement coming to Teams. Powered by Microsoft Whiteboard, collaborative annotations is designed to further simply the ability to collaborate with others while screen sharing in a Microsoft Teams meetings.

Thus feature brings a new dimension to screen sharing as it allows participants to collaborate on anything by essentially leveraging a whiteboard overlay to anything being shared. This is useful if you want to ask for feedback or input on a design, diagram or any other document in a one2one or when working with a group.

Presenters are able to start collaborative annotation for all participants or just the presenter to annotate on shared screen content.

Using the new feature is simple and intuitive. From within a Teams meeting, there’s a new button located in the meeting controls at the top-center of their screen.

Using Collaborative Annotations

While you’re sharing your full screen in a meeting, select Start annotation Microsoft Teams annotation icon in the meeting controls at the upper-middle area of your screen.

Collaborative Annotations

The red outline around the shared screen will turn blue and all participants will see the Microsoft Whiteboard toolset at the top of the shared screen. Everyone in the meeting can begin annotating right away, and the red pen tool is selected by default.

To begin annotating, you can simply choose one of the tools in the Whiteboard toolset such as Sticky note and start typing or drawing on the screen.

Collaborative Annotations

To use this feature, you must have a presenter role in the meeting.

Annotation settings

By default, everyone can annotate. Collaborative cursors also show the names of every participant in the meeting by default. These settings can be toggled on or off by anyone in the meeting by selection settings and toggling the options as shown below.

Annotation settings
Collaborative Annotations settings

Limitations

There are a few limitations though expect these to be fewer as the new feature develops. Most notably these are:

  • Collaborative Annotation is only available for full-screen sharing, not individual window sharing.
  • Exporting annotations is not currently supported. Microsoft recommend that you can take screenshots during the meeting
  • Meeting rooms using Android-based devices are not currently supported.

Availability

This new feature is currently in public preview and is expected to gradually roll out towards the end of this week.

You can find the details on this Microsoft 365 roadmap below. https://www.microsoft.com/en-my/microsoft-365/roadmap?filters=&searchterms=86732

Microsoft Sentinel |2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant leader | Security Information & Event Management

Microsoft has been named a Leader in the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Security Information and Event Management (SEIM) and was positioned highest on the measure of Ability to Execute axis.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for SEIM 2022

What is Sentinel?

Microsoft’s end to end security takes the best of SIEM and combines that with the best of extended detection and response (XDR) to deliver a unified security operations platform.

Microsoft Sentinel is a scalable, cloud-native solution that provides:

  • Security information and event management (SIEM) and
  • Security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR).

Sentinel delivers intelligent security analytics and threat intelligence across the enterprise with integration into almost any application, network and service. Sentinel provides a single comprehensive, intelligent, AI driven solution for attack detection, threat visibility, proactive hunting, and threat response.

It’s unique bird’s-eye view across the enterprise, helps alleviate the stress of increasingly sophisticated attacks, increasing volumes of alerts, and long resolution time frames which often cripples IT and SecOps teams.


Leaders because….?

Microsoft’s vision for protecting organisations from threats is unique compared to competitor vendors/products that only offer a SIEM platform. Just look at how far they have moved in 12 months… Incredible for a fairly new product.

In the annoucement from Microsoft on the recognition they say that “the breadth of coverage only a SIEM can provide and the depth of insight that XDR provides. That means that organisations that leverage Microsoft security solutions have more context to work from to resolve attacks faster. Customers using our XDR capabilities, such as Microsoft 365 Defender, also receive a discount on their data ingestion into Microsoft Sentinel.


You can access and read the full Gartner report here

You can also get a free trial (or free workshop) for Sentinel by following the link here or by speaking to you Microsoft Security Partner.

Microsoft celebrates 10 years of Surface with new devices

TL;DR

Microsoft Surface celebrated 10 years of Surface yesterday, with the 2022 line up, which saw Surface Pro 9 with 5G, Surface Laptop 5 and Surface Studio 2 + being  launched.

With what was a modest event, compared to previous years, Microsoft unveiled a handful of new and updated Surface devices including:

  • Surface Pro 9
  • Surface Pro 9 with 5G
  • Surface Laptop 5
  • Surface Studio 2+
  • Audio Dock and Microsoft Presenter +

The keynoted by Panos Panay, EVP and Chief Product Officer at Microsoft, kicked off the event taking viewers through the history of Microsoft’s journey with Surface.

Surface Pro 9

Always my favour form factor that makes Surface a Surface is the Pro range. Microsoft Surface Pro 9 tablet was annouced with a new Liberty floral print design in blue colour, which has been created in collaboration with design house Liberty London.

Surface Pro 9 – Image (c) Microsoft

Like the Laptop 5, The Surface Pro 9 comes equipped with Thunderbolt connectors and has a 120Hz, 13-inch PixelSense display which makes it perfect for use both as a hand-held tablet and as a laptop when attached to a type cover keyboard.

Microsoft displayed how the Windows 11 adapts with larger spacing between apps when the keyboard is detached from the tablet. Microsoft showcased just how quickly Windows 11 adapts to the change in use, with larger spacing between apps when the keyboard is detached from the device.

Surface Pro 9 is the first in the series with 5G capabilities. This variant is built on the ARM-based Microsoft SQ3 processor powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon and has a battery life of up to 19 hours.

Other variants of the tablet are powered by Intel’s 12th-generation EVO processor.

The front facing camera is centred and field of view has been widened. The (optional) Surface Slim Pen 2 The tablet has a microactuator inside, which, according to Microsoft means “its ink-focussed view makes writing on the screen feel like writing on paper with digital ink that appears to flow”.

Exlusive also to the Surface Pro 9 5G model, is a new NPU (neural processing unit)  which Microsoft said is the most powerful ever in a laptop. The NPU gives the Pro 9 the ability to dynamically focus on the subject at all times, even if the subject is moving. It can automatically creates blur effects and smooth auto framing.

Also provided by the NPU, is a new Voice Focus, which drastically cuts out all kinds of background noise. This was showcased with a leaf blower and hair dryer and seemed extremely impressive (almost magical).

Surface Laptop 5

Laptop 5 was first new product revealed at the event and follows last years Surface Laptop 4, released in 2021.

Surface Laptop 5 – image (c) Microsoft

Following the same popular design size,  Laptop 5 was shown being opened with just one hand revealing a new, quieter keyboard which has been further optimised for responsiveness.  As you’d expect, the design is sleek and light and available in four colours, including the newest colour, sage green.

Surface Laption 5 is built on the latest Intel EVO platform and now has Thunderbolt 4 ports.

Microsoft says that the laptop is up to 50 percent more powerful than its predecessor. It has up to 18 hours of battery life and features a fast charge feature, which powers up the laptop in 30 minutes to provide 9 hours of battery life.

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 has the usual 3:2 PixelSense display for both their 13.5-inch and 15-inch models and feature Dolby Vision IQ to deliver richer details and sharper contrast that are tuned to automatically adjust colour accuracy. The screen is also 120hz.

From an audio perspective, we get Dolby Atmos 3D spatial processing speakers, placed right behind the corners of the keys on the keyboard.

Surface Studio 2+

A superb device that many thought had been forgotten was also brought back to life. Oddly called Studio 2+, rather than 3, this could suggest a design change might come in the future, but for now it keeps the futuristic design of Studio 2 and is beautiful.

Surface Studio 2+ — Image (c) Microsoft

Surface Studio 2+ is powered by Intel i7 quad-core processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, which Microsoft say is “five times more powerful than the original Surface Studio.”

It comes with three Thunderbolt ports in keeping with rest of the line up and has a 4K display with a colour depth of DCI P3. This also naturally features both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos audio.

The gorgeous 28inch screen can be adjusted with just a one-finger push which allows it to intelligently glide and stay in what ever position works for the mode of work. Leveraging Windows 11’s snap layout feature, the screen is large enough to have four separate 14-inch display windows open at the same time, something designers love.

Audio Dock and Microsoft Presenter+

Two other hardware products were revealed at the event. These were Microsoft Presenter+, which is a Teams remote with a mute button, and Audio Dock with multiple ports and spacial speaker and mic

Windows and Surface Together

Whilst the focus was of course about the new Surface line up, most of which were inline with the predictions, the importance and development of Windows was also front of stage. As such, Microsoft used this event to showcase new features for Windows 11, many designed specifically around Surface and other multi form factor devices like Surface Studio Laptop, a Surface Pro and Studio 2+.

Following up from the Windows 11 22H2 update that is now rolling out, Microsoft highlighted so of the new accessibility features that are built in to Windows 11. This incudes a system-wide live captions from audio content, which automatically appears on the screen when any audio from any source is playing.

Among other accessibility features showcased was system wide voice access for voice control and navigation which include new natural voices.

Pricing and Availability

No official announcement of the price of any new Microsoft Surface product was made during the event.

Ignite 2022: Microsoft Teams will be natively available on Cisco Meeting Devices

In what could be good news for Business and VC/Collab partners alike, organisations will soon be able to choose between running Cisco Webex or Microsoft Teams natively on their Cisco Meeting devices and cameras starting in 2023.

This was annouced by Cisco and Microsoft at Ignite today (Microsoft’s annual tech conference).

Both Cisco Cisco Room and Cisco Desk Devices, will be certified for Microsoft Teams, a move annouced a few years ago and then back tracked by Cisco but now clearly front and centre.

“Interoperability has always been at the forefront of our hybrid work strategy, understanding that customers want collaboration to happen on their terms — regardless of device or meeting platform. Our partnership with Microsoft brings together two collaboration leaders to completely reimagine the hybrid work experience.”

Jeetu Patel |EVP and GM |Collaboration |Cisco

What might Cisco bring to the Teams Eco System

Cisco becoming a partner in the Certified for Microsoft Teams program for the first time is a big move for Cisco. The Teams Room eco system is already quite crowded with vendors including Yealink, Poly, Logitech, Neat to name a few.

The quality of Cisco kit often dwafs that of the other vendors out there, ever since their aquisition of Tanburg back in 2010.

Under the terms of the partnership, Microsoft Teams will run natively on Cisco Room and Desk devices starting from the first half of 2023, giving users the option of staying within the Teams experience while taking advantage of Cisco’s video and camera technology, complete with noise removal and built-in intelligence.

“Our vision to make Teams the best collaboration experience for physical spaces is brought to life by our incredible ecosystem of hardware partners. By welcoming Cisco as our newest partner building devices Certified for Microsoft Teams, we are excited to bring leading collaboration hardware and software to market together for our joint customers.”

Jeff Teper |President |Collaborative apps and platforms | Microsoft

What devices will be supported?

In the blog, Microsoft and Cisco say that “Initially, six of Cisco’s most popular meeting devices and three peripherals will be certified for Teams, with more to come.

The first wave of devices, expected to be certified by early 2023, will include the Cisco Room Bar, the Cisco Board Pro 55-inch and 75-inch, and the Cisco Room Kit Pro for small, medium and large meeting room spaces, respectively. Cisco Desk Pro and Cisco Room Navigator will follow.

This is great for customers who want to shift eco systems without having to replace their vast array of meeting room technology where this meets the requirements of course to become Teams Native.

Is the end of Webex?

According to Cisco, Absolutely not..

This is all about choice and recognition of the growth and impact of Teams. Cisco customers will have the option to make Microsoft Teams Rooms the default experiences, and the devices will continue to support joining Webex meetings with all the features and functionality customers enjoy today via interop capabilites.

This move also helps customers and partners better meet their sustainability goals and budgets meaning that they can retain the value, quality and brand of Cisco they like in a Teams Native experience without compromise.


What do you think of this news? Share you comments in below.

Microsoft bringing Immersive VR into Teams, Office, Windows, and Xbox in new Meta partnership

At the Meta Connect virtual conference yesterday (11th October), Microsoft announced they will make Windows, Office, Teams, and others such as Dynamics available for the new Meta Quest Pro and existing Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headsets under an expanded partnership they announced with Meta, Facebook’s parent company.

Satya Nadella & Mark Zuckerburg at Meta Virtual Connect Conference

“You will be able to play 2D games with your Xbox controller projected on a massive screen on Quest. It’s early days, but we’re excited for what’s to come. Who knows, the next time we talk, maybe we’ll be playing flight simulator together in VR.”

Satya Nadella | CEO | Microsoft

Partnership – not competition

Rather than compete head-to-head within the metaverse space, Microsoft and Meta announced they are partnering to work together on improving the way in which people collaborate, work and game together in virtual reality. The first part of this partnership will see Microsoft bringing its biggest services — Teams, Office, Windows, and Xbox Cloud Gaming to Meta’s Quest VR headsets.

Microsoft Teams on Meta’s Quest VR headsets. Image (C) Meta

The official blog post on the announcement can be found on Microsoft’s website here:

  • Microsoft Teams will be available on Meta Quest devices, which will allow people to use Meta’s VR headsets for virtual Teams meetings, as an alternative to Meta’s Horizon Workrooms virtual meeting technology.
  • People will also be able to join Microsoft Teams meetings from Meta Workrooms.
  • In the future, people will be able to use Meta avatars in Teams for whiteboarding, brainstorming, and meetups.
  • Users will be able to interact with features across Microsoft 365 apps including SharePoint, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook from both Quest Pro and Quest 2.
  • It will be possible to stream Windows 365, the cloud-version of Windows 11 to Quest Pro and Quest 2 devices.
  • Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory will be available on Quest devices to provide enterprise security, authentication, and device management.

“We are bringing a Microsoft Teams immersive meeting experience to Meta Quest in order to give people new ways to connect…you can connect, share, and collaborate as though you were together in person.”

Satya Nadella | CEO | Microsoft.
Microsoft 365 in VR. Image (c) Microsoft

Is this the end for HoloLens?

Microsoft isn’t giving up on HoloLens for enterprise application, such as remote assist for Oil and Gas, Health, and Military use, but the Meta partnership will allow Microsoft to branch more easily into consumer and commercial applications whilst achieving a much lower entry point using consumer grade technology and services/platform which exist today.

Meta complements our commitment to HoloLens,” Microsoft’s Teper says in his post.

Release Dates?

Meta will release the Quest Pro on October 25th for $1,499.99.
with regards other Meta services in and across Office 365, we will no doubt here more at the various Tech conferences this week. UC Expo, South Coast Summit and of course Microsoft Ignite

Windows 11 22H2 rollout picks up pace.

Image of Surface Laptop Go 2 on a desk

After the initial release of Windows 11’s first annual update 22H2 about a month ago, Microsoft is increasing the availability of Windows 11 2022 for users who proactively look for updates by clicking the “check for updates” button in Settings.

Check for updates in Windows 11

Microsoft will still detect for known issues or incompatibilities in your system, either hardware or application based as as such may still implement a blocking safeguardnto prevent your device getting the update until the known issue is resolved.

For less eager users, who do not manually check for updates, the update will arrive in time as part of the traditional update release schedule, giving the Microsoft more time to to continue monitoring the quality and success of the rollout across the huge number of devices running Windows 11.

For more experienced users, Microsoft has also made official ISOs for #Windows11 available from their website or by using the Windows 11 Installation Assistant. Please ensure you don’t use third party, non Microsoft sites as these are likely to be scams and full of nasties!

Known issues with 22H2

Microsoft is constantly monitoring the efficiency and quality of the update and have issues a few advisories around certain incompatibilities with the update which include amongst other things some printer drivers issues as well as an issue when copying large files to Windows 11 2022 systems locally and via network. Patches for the latter are already being rolled out.