New Teams Features and Changes – For Better or For Worse

We’ve written a lot about Microsoft Teams over the last few years. It’s easily becoming the central communication and collaboration hub in most of the offices we support. Over the last month or so, we’ve seen some headlines, and experienced some Teams updates and quirks, that we feel we need to let you know about.

Reverse Sorting in Channel Chats…Or Not: It used to be that new messages in Channels used to show up on the bottom of the list, similar to how they did in standard user-to-user chats. This changed recently, and is slowly rolling out to folks, but now Channel Group chats are now reverse sorted with new ones at the top and there’s no real way to change them back. So basically, Channel conversations are now sorted backwards compared to regular conversations. But then, sometimes they’ll random switch back (as it did to a couple folks in our office). Which is … odd.

Teams Animated Backgrounds: This is basically a feature created to match one that Zoom uses, but you can now setup Animated backgrounds in Teams. Personally, most of us find it distracting, but the feature is there, should you want it.

Don’t Try the New Teams: If you see this icon on the top left of your Teams window, don’t click on it:

While the new Teams performs much faster, incorporating the newer rendering engine we mentioned a few months back, it doesn’t have nearly the feature parity of the current version. In our experience in our office, the folks that used it had audio troubles, channel notifications gone wild (with no ability to customize them), issues going into breakout rooms, issues with various add-ons and apps, among other quirks. Teams not being a system hog is a nice feature, but we actually want the product to work properly (yes, I know, that’s a huge ask sometimes).

Collaborative Visio: If you use Microsoft Visio in your organization, this might be handy for you: Visio is now available as a personal app or workspace in Teams, allowing you to view, edit and create Visio diagrams much easier from right within Teams.

Collaborative Meeting Notes: Powered by OneNote, you’ll soon be able to have a collaborative meeting notes panel in Teams, allowing everybody in the meeting to add to the notes, assign tasks, and more. There are still some kinks to work out, but it looks pretty cool thus far.

Image via Bing AI Image Creator.

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