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Microsoft Ignite: Teams for external users and avatars, Windows 11 as a cloud VM

Microsoft’s second Ignite conference in 2021 will also only take place online – and, unsurprisingly, digital collaboration with tools such as teams is also the focus of the corporate customer event. Some of the announcements solve specific problems for Teams users, the vision of Microsoft’s Metaverse continues to look futuristic.

After Microsoft Teams shaped the way many organizations work, accelerated by the pandemic and the homework of millions, many problems also became apparent. Microsoft is now responding to a frequent criticism: Until now, there was always a crunch when companies had to communicate with external users. For companies that regularly work with others (such as customers, suppliers or partners), there will be the Teams Connect function in the future. The administrators can create shared channels across teams tenants.

And users who previously only used teams with a private teams account should be able to be brought into groups and conversations more easily in the future.

For organizers of webinars about trams, there are some small innovations: A virtual green room, a kind of backstage area for speakers and organizers and up to 10 co-organizers have been announced for the end of the year.

After Facebook recently put the idea of ​​the Metaverse with virtual meetings in three-dimensional space, with AR and VR aids on the agenda, Microsoft is now following it up and dreams of virtual meetings with 3D avatars. Not only is a complete 3D world announced, the avatars can also appear in the 2D video conference world. Those who cannot or do not want to appear in front of the camera in the morning should also be able to send their animated avatar to the team meeting. The idea is called Mesh for Teams.

Avatar instead of your own appearance: Instead of switching off the camera, you will in future send a 3D figure of yourself to the meeting.

(Image: Microsoft)

A new app has been announced parallel to Teams: Microsoft Loop is a virtual whiteboard creativity and collaboration interface. The first impression is that groups can put together elements such as texts, images and tables, work on them together and, for example, collect thoughts and work out plans. So far, many have misappropriated the collaboration functions of Word or Excel in Office 365 for such tasks, also embedded in teams.

Loop is a new interface for collaborative work and gathering ideas.

(Image: Microsoft)

Just in time for Ignite, Microsoft is also announcing the next step in the Windows virtual machines from the Azure data center: Windows 11 will soon be available in Windows 365. The offer is currently only aimed at corporate customers.

The list of small optimizations and innovations in Microsoft Azure and for developers is long. Azure Cognitive Search, now speaks 50 new languages, SQL Server 2022 is now available for testing. If you want to simulate realistic failures of your Azure infrastructure and test whether your software is prepared for them, you get the Azure Chaos Studio a new tool.

the Microsoft Ignite runs until November 3rd.


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