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Microsoft Teams Confirms New Updates In Bid To Topple Rival Zoom

Microsoft Teams has added a raft of new features and will focus on improving performance in a bid to beat Zoom in the workplace videoconferencing arena.

Throughout September, Teams pushed a host of upgrades for desktop and smartphones including a large gallery view so users can see up to 49 participants, ‘together mode’ which uses AI technology to make it feel like users are all in the same room and improving the pre-join meeting experience.

Currently, Zoom has a 49-person gallery view but does not offer a ‘together mode’ feature similar to Microsoft, which can put all users into a simulated environment like a coffee shop or conference room.

Microsoft also updated its iPhone app to allow users to see more participants on the screen.

As remote workplaces are set to continue into 2021, Microsoft has made huge performance improvements to help users when there is limited network connectivity and has vowed to boost desktop launch time by 30 per cent on Windows and macOS.

This includes deferring non-essential operations until after launch, optimized code delivery flows and service side optimizations like migrating services infrastructure to Azure Front Door.

Microsoft is also adjusting how much compute power is used during video calls and meetings by reducing animations, blending layers, and simplifying the overall experience.

This month, Teams will also launch ‘breakout rooms’ which allow people to break off into smaller groups during a meeting or conference.

Through to January 1, 2021, Microsoft is extending temporary limit increases for live events hosted in Teams, Stream, and Yammer, including up to 20,000 attendees per event, up to 50 simultaneous events per Teams tenant and up to 16 hours per broadcast.

Zoom’s most expensive paid plan of A$279.90 per year allows up to 500 participants in a meeting and up to 1,000 Participants with an Enterprise+ Plan.

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