Coming to Microsoft Teams: Video Calling Grid Expands to 49 People

The Microsoft Teams feature we’ve all been waiting for is finally coming! This fall, Teams will increase the grid view for video call experiences from 3×3 to 7×7. This means up to 49 faces simultaneously on screen during a video call.

The announcement was originally posted on a Microsoft for Education blog, primarily as a response to the demand for better remote classroom experiences. But several sources confirmed it will be available for all tenants in the fall—likely sometime in September to the end of November.

This is a big move for the collaboration application, as it arguably eliminates one of its few shortcomings when compared with its rival Zoom.

Expanded Microsoft Teams video calling: Better late than never

This much-anticipated release might feel a bit late to the game—especially as many businesses are least partially welcoming employees back into physical offices.

But many companies have extended work-from-home through the end of the year, while others have made it an indefinite option. Coupled with the threat of a possible coronavirus resurgence in the fall and winter, stringent guidelines for sanitizing and cleaning, and limits on the number of people in confined indoor spaces, we fully expect that the demand for remote video conferencing will continue to rise.

Microsoft Teams is more than just video calling

While this announcement undoubtedly makes Teams a more attractive solution for video chat, organizations should understand that Teams is much more than a video conferencing and chat tool.

With collaboration at the platform’s core, Teams offers functionality that includes file management and sharing, project management and planning, and deep integrations with Microsoft’s O365 cloud apps, SharePoint and third-party apps.

While there are obvious advantages of better face-to-face visibility, a broader view also enables opportunities for businesses, education and non-profits alike to engage in better team building and learning/professional development remotely. Combined with other new features like “hand raising” and breakout rooms (also on the Roadmap), Teams continues to solidify its position as the foundation of the modern digital workplace.

Using Teams Better

Microsoft has been releasing several high-profile feature updates to Teams over the last several months. Most recently, the ability to “pop-out” chats in their own windows. Next up on Microsoft’s Roadmap is the ability for Multi-Window meetings and calling experiences.

Teams has enjoyed massive growth over the past few months, thanks in no small part to COVID-19 and work-from-home mandates. The surge has driven more than 75 million daily active users as of April 30—an increase from 35 million at the beginning of March.

This surge has meant many organizations adopted teams without a clear understanding of the capabilities of the platform, or the capacity of the organization to leverage the full potential of the solution. StitchDX is helping organizations use Teams better by helping them better understand its many features and benefits.

If your organization isn’t getting full value from its investment in Microsoft Teams and/or O365, we have ideas that can help. Reach out to us anytime.

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