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Mesh for Teams enables customized avatars to have meetings in immersive spaces

Apart from compliance and security updates for Microsoft Teams at Ignite 2021, the company also had tons of features to announce for its online collaboration app. Perhaps the biggest announcement is that its mixed reality (MR) platform Mesh is being integrated into Teams, something that it first announced back in March.

Customized avatars in a Teams meeting using Mesh

Essentially, Mesh will enable users to utilize personalized and customized 3D avatars that can join Teams meetings and interact with each other in an immersive space. It won't require users to turn on their cameras but interactive methods such as eye contact and live reactions will be offered for those who prefer a non-robotic interaction. Organizations are free to create their own branded spaces and lobbies where they can hold virtual meetings using Mesh.

Customers will be able to utilize Microsoft 365 content in Mesh meetings spatially while having the peace of mind that all their data is secure. Mesh in Teams will be available for users on PC, mobile, and mixed-reality headsets as a preview in the first half of 2022.

Microsoft is also making it easier to collaborate cross-organization via Teams through shared channels (preview in early 2022) and the ability to chat with a personal Teams account (available by end of 2021). Customers who utilize Teams Rooms and devices have the following features to look forward to over the next few months: Direct guest join, the ability to manage Surface Hubs from Teams admin center, a new hotdesking experience with the upcoming Yealink deskVision AIO24 display, and a Logitech Tap Scheduler that will enable people to check meeting room availability and details at a quick glance.

New apps and enhanced Power Virtual Agents are coming to Microsoft Teams as well and SaaS applications using Teams can now embed collaborative content. A new Microsoft Teams App store UI revamp will become available by the end of this month with better categorization, curated editorials, and intelligent recommendations.

Meanwhile, customers who utilize Teams' broadcasting and webinar capabilities have lots of stuff to look forward to in the coming months as well. These include a virtual green room, enhanced management controls, co-organizers, Q&A in Teams, isolated audio feeds, and integration with Cvent.

Microsoft is also making it easier for IT admins to manage Teams using the Teams admin center with a new device analytics dashboard, a workspace view, and priority account notifications and alerts.

Finally, people who utilize Teams chat can now send messages to themselves, choose different views to select the density of messages on a single screen, use over 800 3D emojis, delay the delivery of messages like Outlook, and take advantage of a revamped search UI.

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