Microsoft has made a lot of headway in terms of software application availability to the Federal Government, with things like the Government Community Cloud (GCC), and the creation of two new data centers that are designed to host Virtual Machines (VMs) and Virtual Desktops (VDs) for government employees.

More is also being offered in the way of Microsoft Teams, and this article summarizes the new features.

What’s New

1. New Sharing Modes:

Screen sharing is one of the fundamental tools in any video conferencing platform.  Thus Microsoft has created two new modes of this, the Reporter Mode and the Side-By-Side Mode.  With the former, you can place your visual content just above your shoulder so that other people on your team can see it better.  With the latter, you can place the content side by side next to the video, in order to fully capture the attention of your team.

These are both demonstrated, respectively, in the images below:


(SOURCE:  1).

2. Breakout sessions:

With this functionality, your team members can literally divide up amongst themselves and share other ideas in private as the meeting continues.  These are also known as Breakout Sessions, and through Teams, you can time them anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes in total length.  You can even have multiple breakouts over different meetings, thus increasing the productivity of them even more.  This is illustrated below:

(SOURCE:  2).

3.Real time content capture:

As you hold your meetings, your words can be converted over to real time captioning and transcription.  Over 27 languages are now supported, and this functionality is particularly useful for the following cases:

  • There is a poor Internet connection;
  • For any participants that are deaf, or who have other types of hearing impairment issues;
  • For those participants whose native language is not English;
  • For any participants that may have joined the meeting late.

This is illustrated below:

(SOURCE:  3).

Once you start your presentation, this functionality starts running automatically after you click upon the “Allow Transcription” option.  The actual transcript archives can then be easily accessed by anyone who attended the meeting, for a time period established by you.  Also, the audio portion of your meeting can be archived and downloaded in the same manner.

4. Lower hands:

In Teams, as your members have questions, this triggers a “raise hand” feature.  Making sure that all questions are addressed in a long meeting can be a difficult task, with many hands going up in the air.  But with an upgrade, as each question is answered, that particular hand is lowered, thus letting you know when all questions have been answered.  This is illustrated below:


(SOURCE:  4).


There are always updates coming out in Microsoft Teams, and in order to ensure that you are getting all of them, contact us today.


  1. Engage your audience with presenter modes (
  2. Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings (
  3. Live transcription with speaker attribution now available in Microsoft Teams meetings for English (US)
  4. Raise your hand in a Teams meeting (