Last Updated on April 19, 2021 by GrahamWalsh
At the start of April, Microsoft released the next update for Microsoft Teams Room App 18.104.22.168. Official release notes are here. Below is a list of the highlights of the release
- Government Community Cloud High (GCCH) support for Teams Rooms. GCCH customers with existing Teams Rooms devices can download version 22.214.171.124 from Manually update a Microsoft Teams Rooms device
- Join Zoom meetings with better video quality (720p support) and receive the video gallery of participants
- Skype for Business sign-in failure banner removed for Microsoft Teams default mode. This change supports organizations removing Skype for Business infrastructure
- Microsoft Teams meetings join link parsing now handles Microsoft Defender Advanced Thread Protection Safe Links to allow joining external Teams seamlessly
- Fix for shared content scaling issue in Skype for Business meetings when the sharer’s PC has a custom DPI set in Windows
- Quality and reliability fixes
Let’s break all this down. Support for GCCH now means that devices can now successfully be part of the GCCH tenant and have full support. To manually update your device, you can follow the steps here.
Zoom Direct Guest Join Access is now out of preview and is available as general release. What has changed here? Well behind the scenes, the Chromium engine has changed so it’s using the latest WebRTC components. It now supports 720p video along with gallery mode rather than active speaker mode. See below for the changes. One thing to note, the default is speaker view, so you have to move the Front of Room (FoR) image to the Centre of Room (CoR) console so you can enable Gallery View.
So to switch the modes, you need to use the CoR console where it says Show meeting on this device in the bottom left, then you can change the layout. This is located on the top right of the main window.
Next up we have the removal of some of the dependencies on Skype for Business. The reason for this is that Microsoft announced a while back that the Skype for Business Online will be switched off at the end of July 2021. So that time is fast approaching, and Microsoft are starting to remove some of the features it used from Skype for Business. One issue that used to appear a lot, but not cause issues was an error along the top regarding failure to sign into Skype for Business. This was usually because some organisations still had a hybrid setup and the DNS for Skype for Business needed to look this up internally, or the DNS entries were still in place, but the servers are switched off. Jimmy Vaughan published an article here on this subject. So, what this update will do is ignore Skype for Business errors if Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Exchange are happily signed in. You can also see what services are signed in with the Teams Admin Center as per below in section 2.
I also have another blog post here on the meeting room name disappearing with this latest update.
The next update in this release is to do with forwarding meeting invites to an MTR. Say you work for Contoso but you have received an invite to join a meeting with Northwinds Trading. Usually on your desktop, you just click on the link and that will open your Teams Client. However, at times you may want to join the external meeting from your meeting room, so you forward the invite. In the past if you had forwarded the invite, the URL link for the meeting was sometimes removed or amended due to Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) Safe Links, resulting in no Join button on the MTR. You may have made changes to your ATP settings to ignore certain links for these accounts, now this has been addressed behind the scenes.
Finally, there was an update for Skype for Business meetings, where desktop sharing resulted in poor resolution if the presenter had a custom DPI on their laptop resolution. This is now resolved for calls on Skype for Business.
So that is the list of major updates to the app. I did not write a blog post on the changes in 126.96.36.199/188.8.131.52 so thought I’d cover them off briefly below. All these features are rolled up into 184.108.40.206 as well.
The official release notes on 220.127.116.11 is here. The key features in this release were as follows:
- Share HDMI audio to meeting participants in Microsoft Teams meeting
- Cortana voice skills (Preview)
- Prevent unmuting based on audio permissions when Teams Room joins as attendee.
- Spotlight someone’s video from Teams Room console and consume spotlighted video on room displays
Breaking this down, HDMI audio sharing was available during local meetings. This update allowed audio to be presented into calls as well, so if you are sharing a video, the audio is transmitted into the say the Microsoft Teams meeting.
Cortana was released into preview for US English with Microsoft 365 tenants based in US. It was also restricted to devices with Logitech Rally Mic pods. This remains in preview even in 18.104.22.168. Further details on Cortana in Microsoft Teams is here. Once it goes GA and in other languages, I’ll do a blog post on this.
Next is the control of attendee’s mute status. This feature is on the desktop app, so naturally it comes over to the MTR console too. This is especially useful for large meetings. For more information, see Manage attendee audio permissions in Teams Meetings.
Finally, the control of meeting spotlight. This allows you to spotlight someone from the CoR console, but also if someone is spotlighted from their desktop client, the MTR adheres to this, and spotlights them on the MTR FoR display. Also available now is Large Gallery and Together Mode, so you can see yourself sitting in a virtual auditorium or up to 49 people on a FoR Display. Just press the … on the console and select your layout.
There’s the roundup for now. Any questions let me know below.
Also published on Medium.