Microsoft Teams is soon to launch an update to stop people from unmuting themselves during calls on its conferencing software. Organisers will get more granular control of how they manage participants’ audio permissions in a meeting. It means the existing fiddly controls could soon be a thing of the past.
If you've ever hosted a Microsoft Teams call, you've no doubt encountered people unmuting themselves, especially during an important presentation, perhaps even on a call where the impetus is on one person doing most of the talking.
Now, Microsoft has announced its intention to fix this through a new feature in an entry to the Office 365 Roadmap, saying: “Presenters and organisers can prevent individual attendees from unmuting instead of all attendees at once". It will come as a relief to meeting hosts who’ve struggled with muting issues during group calls. And it looks like users will only have to wait until the end of next month before getting their hands on the new controls.
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The existing setup on Microsoft Teams lets a host mute everyone that is on the call. Should you wish to unmute, then you have to submit a request to the meeting host, which quickly gets confusing with multiple speakers in tow. It's a laborious process and it can cause significant interruptions depending on the call size.
The new feature will give hosts the power to muzzle that loquacious family member, chatty colleague, or indeed anyone who has a fondness for unmuting themselves on the regular. It's another example of Microsoft dialling up the app's controls after news of a view-shifting feature to ease call fatigue by giving users more screen viewing options.
While the feature remains under development, Microsoft is looking at an April launch following news of a slimmed-down Microsoft Teams, more suited to less powerful devices from our best laptops under £500. Stay tuned for more information.