Skype for Business (3PIP) phone support extended beyond original 2023 end date

Image of 3PIP phones

Great news for any organisations using Skype for Business and moving to Teams, was announced yesterday.

Yesterday, Microsoft announced that they were extending support for their 3PIP gateway service (which was originally supported until 2023). Skype for Business Online is end of life from July 2021 and the 3PIP service provides support for any legacy Skype for Business Phone. By extending the support for the 3PIP gateway service, organisations will be able to leverage their existing Skype for Business phones for longer – saving money and giving them longer to invest in #MicrosoftTeams certified phones.

Image of 3PIP phones

We realise that being able to use existing hardware can provide important cost savings when moving to a new phone system.” Microsoft said in a blog post yesterday. “Today, we are announcing extended support for Skype for Business (3PIP) phones beyond 2023, so you can continue to use your existing Skype for Business phones as you move to Teams”.

Support for Standard SIP Phones

Microsoft also confirmed that they will be supporting core calling features on standard SIP-based phones from Cisco, Yealink, Polycom, and others with Microsoft Teams. Microsoft said this support will be available in the first half of 2021.

More Teams phones with “Buttons”

Microsoft also said yesterday that, due to customer demand, the leading Teams phone vendors including Yealink and Audiocodes will be launching new Teams certified phones with physical buttons.

“Tasks” across Microsoft 365 being revamped as Teams gets new Tasks app

Three months after if was officially announced, Microsoft has started rolling out the new Tasks app in Microsoft Teams.

Image courtesy of Microsoft

This new experience is powered by both Planner and Microsoft To Do and is fundamentally a rebrand (with some) of the existing Planner app which was already available within Microsoft Teams, creating one central hub for all things teamwork and tasks..

As we have become accustomed too with roll outs of features within Microsoft Teams, the new Tasks apps rollout will also be a gradual one which starts today and will complete by September.

It’s worth noting that Tasks for Teams mobile, is not expextes to be available until the desktop rollout has completed.

What about its name?

For now… Presumably to minimise confusion, the name of the Planner app inside Microsoft Teams will not change.

Microsoft has said that as they continue the roll out the new Planner experience, the app name will remain Planner, but will then change to Tasks by Planner and To Do, and then change to simply Tasks. Mobile users, meanwhile, will always only see the app as Tasks.

What is new?

The new features in the new Tasks app include

  • New list view,
  • The ability to edit multiple tasks at once.
  • Traditional board, charts, and schedule view from Planner, with the option for Lists aswell
  • New bulk editing capability, where you can edit multiple tasks simultaneously, for changing progress, priority, due dates etc.

You’ve got the Power

If you are fan and user of Power Automate (formerly Microsoft Flow) can also now add and configure integrations in the new Task app, to bring out tasks created in other applications into Tasks in Teams.

When will I get it?

To check if Tasks is available, you can click the ellipses in the Teams sidebar and choose Planner.

This all part of a new initiate by Microsoft dubbed as “Tasks in Microsoft 365.” This is the first stage of a project within Microsoft to bring together, streamline and consolidate the principles of tasks across all of Microsoft 365.

You can read more on the Microsoft blog herehttps://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/planner-blog/announcing-tasks-in-teams-a-coherent-task-management-experience/ba-p/969386.

New Teams Meeting Experience rolling out to SurfaceHub

We heard a couple months back that big changes are coming to both SurfaceHub 1 and 2S as the SurfaceHub and Microsoft Teams product groups work to continuously improve the meeting and collaboration experiences on Surface Hub.

Starting last week, updates are rolling out to the Microsoft Teams app on Surface Hub which will brings fixes and quality improvements based on the customer feedback. The most important bits are still to come though with this update preparing the hub for new features that will start rolling out later next quarter.

The update will be delivered seemlessly via Windows Update (assuming its enabled) taking the Microsoft Teams app to version 0.2020.84.4301.

The update also sees the SurfaceHub receive a new driver update to complement the Microsoft Teams experience with an improved Microsoft Teams meeting join experience after the update is completed.

Like I said most of the visual updates which we expect to include things like proximity join, improved management, allowing SurfaceHub to join a Teams meeting as a secondary or companion decide etc are coming later this year.