My top 5 new things in Microsoft Teams for Feb 2020

1. Cross collaboration with Outlook and Teams

Whilst Teams is one of the most effective and fluid ways for indivials and teams to communicate, not all conversations are suited in teams. This month (though you have to look for it) there is new 2-way integration between Outlook and Teams to make it easier shift conversations from one medium to another. Users can now:

1. Move an email conversation from Outlook (along with attachments) into a Teams chat or channel conversation by clicking on the ‘’Share to Teams’’ in Outlook.

Outlook to Teams

2. Share a conversation from Teams to an Outlook email by clicking on the more options (‘’…’’) icon in a conversation.

2. Updated @tags in Chats and Channels

Microsoft have made it easier toget connected to right people with “targeted communication”. For example, if you need to send a message to say, all of sales or all managers, it’s now possible to quickly message everyone assigned to a specific tag at the same time by simply @mentioning the tag name in a post. By using tags, team “owners” can now organise users based on a common “tag” , relevant to a role, project, or location etc.

Tagging in channels

3. New File Experience.

The Teams file experience is “powered by SharePoint” and as well as looking a little more modern, includes the ability to sync files to your computer, see rich previews across over 320 file types, create views, see document life-cycle signals, review on-hover file cards, pin files to the top, take actions like check in and check out, and loads more.. In fact everything you can do in SharePoint, because, well.. the Teams file store is SharePoint anyway.

New File Experience

I wasn’t a huge fan of this at first as I quite liked the simplistic view in teams but if you work with files and lot (and have a lot in your teams and channels) then after a few days you’ll wonder how you manged without it! That said.. Be nice if you could tune it a bit to suite.

4. New Live Captions in Meetings

This has actually been in preview for a couple of months so if you, like me have been using it, you may not have realised that it’s now in ‘General availability state’.

Basically, you can use live captions to give subtitles to your Microsoft Teams meetings. Let’s think for a minute.. This is really powerful and great for accessibility but also if you are in a meeting where noisy surroundings (coffee shop, loud office, airport etc) where you may struggle to hear all of what is going on..

With live captions you can turn on live subtitles during your Teams meetings so you never miss what somebody is trying to say as you can read what people are saying in real time. English only at this time with more language support coming soon we are told.

Live captions in Teams

5. New Security and Compliance Features

2 new features were added to a team this month too which bring some of the wider Microsoft 365 Security & Compliance features natively into Teams

  1. Legal Hold for Teams Private Channels
  2. Communication Compliance which helps HR and admin detect capture and take remediation actions should inappropriate communications be used in teams that could impact well being or lead to abuse or bullying.

That’s it for now… Look forward to seeing what’s new in March!

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