Microsoft has announced that the live transcription feature in Teams meetings is finally available for English-speaking users in the United States. The feature was first announced in July of last year, and in August, the Microsoft 365 roadmap indicated that it was planned to be available in September, but it has taken until now for it to actually happen.
Live transcription is a fairly self-explanatory feature - as you host a virtual meeting in Teams, the service will transcribe everything that's said by the participants. Microsoft says delivering accurate real-time transcriptions has been a major challenge, but it has been working on improving its AI technology to make it happen. Teams transcripts can also identify who said what in a meeting, based on the user's name, entered when registering for the meeting.
Yes, that does mean that, right now, transcription is only available for scheduled meetings in Teams, so it won't just work with any meeting you host. It's also only available for enterprise Microsoft 365 SKUs, including Microsoft 365 E3, Microsoft 365 E5, Microsoft 365 Business Standard, and Microsoft 365 Business Premium SKUs. However, support for channel meetings and the Meet Now feature is coming in the future.
To set up live transcription, IT admins in your tenant will have to enable the Allow Transcription policy, which then allows meeting organizers and presenters to start transcribing during a meeting. Should one of the participants not want to be identified, it's possible to turn off speaker attribution in the profile settings. Transcripts are saved and available for download in Teams for desktop and the web, as well as on the meeting event in the Teams calendar.
If you're more interested in transcribing in-person meetings and still have speaker attribution, Microsoft announced new intelligent speakers at its spring Ignite event that do just that. Or if you don't need that kind of extra business tooling, Microsoft Garage has a project that lets you record meetings using multiple phones.