Microsoft Teams group held an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session today, here are the highlights

Kit McDonald

Following in the steps of the Skype team’s usual AMAs, the Microsoft Teams developers hosted a one-hour long open forum for enthusiasts, business owners, and IT admins on Microsoft Tech Community.

Many questioners were curious what was coming to Microsoft Teams in the future. Particularly those interested in integrations for third party connectors. While they didn’t share the full list of connectors to bring other applications, one developer posted a screenshot of the Connectors list. “This is not the complete list of connectors, it scrolls down quite a bit,” he teased.

Other features planned for the future of Microsoft Teams include:

  • Adding emoticons and audio/video calling to the mobile app.
  • Documenting changelogs in the release notes tab.
  • Chat log and archive of users tht have left the business by tenant admins
  • Rename general channel
  • Yammer as a tab
  • Tools that aid in the extraction of chats/documents/links/etc.
  • Better integration between Planner app and the integrated PI banner tab
  • Using the up arrow to enter edit mode for the last message.
  • Support for public teams and adding Teams to public groups
  • Enabling historical view for a persistent chat room
  • Using Desktop Bridge to enable Windows 10 notifications and live tile updates
  • Archiving team spaces that are no longer needed
  • Notification options for channels and new messages
  • Code formatting
  • Soft delete for teams and channels
  • Enabling Visual Studio Team Services for ‘team admin’ priveledges

While some answers were straight forward, others swayed onto the ‘iffy’ side. Not everything can be included in a product, and the following were features that while the team is looking into it, might not make it.

  • Email integration to support external users
  • Better media and file support in chats for direct playback in the feed
  • An API to add channels
  • Dragging messages inside a thread when submitted as a new conversation wrongly
  • Recording video/audio meetings
  • Hiding a team

While the curiosity about Teams’ role when it came to Slack, Yammer, and more was staggering, the developers reassured us that Yammer and Microsoft Teams are better as separate products. Pavan Tapadia of Yammer also chimed in sharing that while groups can’t be activated on Microsoft Teams currently, they have every intention to make the connection.

We recommend Yammer for social enterprise networks for scenarios such as finding best practices across the company and for CEO connections. Persistent chat for these discussions is valuable for others to leverage past learnings. Microsoft Teams is designed for highly engaged teams to work together on shared deliverables and project. Persistent chat in this scenario is useful as new team members join the team and for catching up on missed discussions.

Meanwhile, the team is working on support for archival, legal hold, and discovery. This means that they want to make sure that events such as accessing the chat history of a user that left the business will be compliant.

The hour-long session also included some interesting information that didn’t pertain to Microsoft Team’s features. Did you know that Microsoft Teams is built on the Electron framework? Also, the data from Teams is localized to the data center region closest to the tenant.

The icon for Teams will be available in the app launcher ‘soon’ said one developer. Unfortunately, it is still only accessible for businesses. The Edu-licensed users will have to wait just a little longer when they start beta with staff and faculty, then slowly work their way to allowing student use.

There’s plenty more to learn from the AMA so be sure to check it out on the Tech Community.