Teams Essentials and other platform innovations

We review the latest developments in Teams, the Microsoft platform that facilitates hybrid work for thousands of workers around the world. Highlights include the launch of Teams Essentials, a version of the platform aimed at smaller companies. In addition, new privacy possibilities have been launched, including the option of end-to-end encryption for calls and video calls.

Teams Essentials

Small businesses have had to go to great lengths to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on their customer relationships and their usual way of working. To help them in this transition to a hybrid workspace, Microsoft is launching Teams Essentials. It is a tailored solution that allows unlimited group video calls for up to 30 hours, group chat, file sharing and calendar functions at a very affordable monthly price.

The tool combines Teams' characteristic functionalities with features directly oriented to the requirements of small businesses:

  • Meetings of up to 30 hours.
  • Up to 300 meeting participants.
  • Integration with Outlook and Google calendar.
  • Interactive meeting features such as backgrounds, waiting rooms, closed captioning or live feedback.
Other new features of Microsoft Teams

Microsoft has incorporated end-to-end encryption into individual Teams calls and video calls. Enabling this feature makes it so that only the people in the meeting listen in, not even Microsoft will have access to the content of encrypted calls. This new functionality has some limitations, which we summarize in the following points:

  • Only available for unscheduled calls.
  • When this feature is enabled, it is not possible to record the call or to activate transcription or live captioning.
  • It is also not possible to transfer the call or join more people to the meeting.

On the other hand, Teams Phone with Calling Plan has been announced, which combines Microsoft 365 Business Voice and features of the Teams Calling Essentials plan. And an enhanced search experience incorporating artificial intelligence has also been announced.


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