Microsoft’s collaboration platform, Microsoft Teams, has been able to maintain the momentum it gained during the pandemic to continue to rapidly grow its usage. As of April of this year Microsoft reported they had reached 145 million daily active users. More recently, they reported that Teams has become the fastest growing application in Microsoft history! Part of this success is due to the continuous improvements Microsoft has been making to the product.
As we reach the half way point in the year, I wanted to take a look at some of the standout new features or improvements that Microsoft has listed as being actively rolled out, or in development but rolling out sometime this quarter, on the Microsoft 365 roadmap.
New Teams Features Actively Rolling Out
New File Sharing Experience
Improving upon its excellent file storage and management feature, you will soon be able to create sharable links for any file stored in Teams and manage the permissions as well. You’ll also be able to set permissions for files stored in SharePoint or OneDrive when sharing them via a private chat or conversation. Previously this had to be done within the web version of the service itself.
Top hits in Search Autosuggest
In order to improve discovery and reduce search times, you will now see a top hits section at the top of the autosuggest results in the search bar within teams. This will give you the most relevant results across people, chat, files, and more.
Offline access for files
Previously opened files will be accessible when your PC has no internet connectivity. Besides being implemented on the desktop client, this is also going to be added to the app on iOS and Android.
Mobile app protection policy
Like you can now with the Outlook mobile app, the Teams mobile app will support using conditional access to require an app protection policy is in place. This is another mechanism you can add to protect an organization’s data on all devices employees use. This ensures only users with an Intune app protection policy in place can access Microsoft 365 services from Teams.
Teams Features In Development (release sometime Q3)
Safe Links Protection for Microsoft Teams
Another welcome security feature expanding to Teams is Safe Links protection via Defender 365. Currently available in SharePoint, OneDrive, Office, and Exchange, Safe Links scans shared links within the application and will redirect a user if the link is detected as being malicious. Given that link sharing is likely to happen more often in Teams than Outlook for those using the collaboration platform, this is a welcomed expansion upon this great feature.
Transfer Calls between desktop and mobile
This feature is one I know many who are currently on Teams have been patiently waiting for. Already possible with meetings, you will soon be able to also transfer active calls between the Teams app on your mobile device and PC, and vice versa.
Improvements to the “Create a Microsoft Team from SharePoint” experience
Microsoft will be improving upon the current capabilities of creating a Team from an existing SharePoint site. You will be able to add real-time chat, virtual meeting capabilities, and extended collaboration features to your SharePoint team.
Pairing the channel and the corresponding SharePoint folder name
Finally, Microsoft will be fixing what many considered a major design flaw in Teams. Currently, if you need to rename an existing Team you can do so, but the SharePoint site that’s linked to it will not be renamed. This can cause a lot of confusion within an organization. After a lot of requests to fix this on the UserVoice platform, Microsoft has finally announce this is in development and rolling out soon. Once released, when a Team is renamed the corresponding SharePoint site will be renamed as well. If a Channel is renamed, it’s SharePoint folder also will be. For Teams that have already been renamed, and have a SharePoint site that has a mismatch name, these will not proactively be corrected. The Team will need to be renamed again to get the corresponding SharePoint site/folder to be renamed.