On Monday morning, Microsoft announced that they are expanding the number of participants visible during a Teams meeting to 49. As of now, Microsoft allows a maximum of 250 participants in a private Team meeting, on the other hand, its rival Zoom allows up to 500 participants in a single conference in its paid plans. However, the maximum number of participants visible on a screen on Microsoft Teams matches the Zoom’s maximum number.
It is one of the multiple features that Microsoft is adding to Teams. It says the goal is to support its Microsoft for Education products, which the company claims have more than 150 million students, faculty, institutional leaders, and teachers actively using it as part of remote learning.
In addition to this change, Teams for Education is getting separate rooms for students to collaborate in smaller groups, attendance reports and class insights for teachers, and a “raise hand” option for students. It’s also putting controls in place so that students can’t start class meetings unattended, and it will restrict who can present at a meeting.
Apart from this, Teams for Education meetings will also include a “lobby” area, where participants can be verified before they’re admitted. It’s not clear if these will be desktop-only features.
Furthermore, Microsoft says it’s adding new features based on what it’s hearing from Teams clients in the education space, including teachers and education leaders. As per the company’s survey, Microsoft expects the 2020-21 school year will be a mix of remote and traditional in-classroom learning.
Teams will roll out the 49-person view as a preview this month and to all users in the fall.
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