Microsoft is rolling out of new custom background effects in Teams, along with new features in the free version of Teams.
Last year, Microsoft introduced background blur to help everyone preserve privacy and keep their attention on their teammates. The design team also created a collection of preset images that range from professional (a modern office) to pretty silly (a cartoonish beach scene).
These options have now been expanded so you can customize your background by uploading your own images or choosing one of the collections of backgrounds now available online.
Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365 said:
No need for a green screen, or even a blank wall. Teams uses a highly trained model that differentiates the subject from their background and can impose a custom background over everything else, making it easy and fast to start expressing yourself in all your meetings.
Microsoft Teams Free Version
Schedule your meetings in advance
Free version users are now able to schedule meetings and send out invitations in advance. This capability builds upon the existing ability to “Meet Now.” Meeting schedulers have the option of either copying the meeting link to send directly to other participants or sending an invite via Outlook or Google calendar.
This much-requested capability is being rolled out to current users, while users who are just signing up now will be able to experience it soon. And right now, there is no time limit on meetings in the free version of Teams.
Use live captions
Teams free users can now turn on live captions during their calls and meetings. This feature makes meetings more inclusive, giving participants another way to follow along with the conversation and address the needs of participants with different hearing abilities or language proficiencies.
It’s currently available as a preview in U.S. English.
The free version of Microsoft Teams includes unlimited chat and search, group and one-on-one audio and video calling, and 10GB of team file storage along with 2GB of personal file storage per person. Users also get real-time collaboration with Office apps for Web, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
Whether you’re a freelancer, a small business owner, or part of a team inside a larger organization, you can start using Microsoft Teams.
The free version of Teams provides all types of organizations up to 500,000 users with:
Unlimited chat and search
Audio and video calling
10 GB team file storage and 2 GB personal file storage per person
Ability to use the Office web apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote)