On Windows 11, Microsoft Teams 2.0 will bring much-needed enhancements

Microsoft Teams Calling’¬†next¬†iteration is expected to include¬†a number of¬†significant improvements and upgrades.¬†

Over the last 18 months, the video conferencing service has evolved to become one of Microsoft’s most significant software services as workers and customers try to keep in touch throughout the epidemic. 

Microsoft is already preparing the introduction of Microsoft Teams 2.0, which will be included in the highly anticipated Windows 11 release later this year, and will include a number of new features and upgrades. 

Messaging in Microsoft Teams 2.0 

Microsoft Teams now has a messaging feature that allows users to respond directly to messages, like how Slack does. 

Teams’ users will be able to react to specific messages or quote their own message in a response thanks to the new “quoted responses” feature. To use the functionality, simply right click on any message. It may also be accessed by hovering over a message and selecting the three-dot menu at the top of a Team’s conversation, then selecting “Reply.” 

The update, according to Microsoft, will make chatting on the Teams desktop app more engaging and intuitive, as well as make it simpler to pick up on all the relevant communications for you. 

The announcement comes just days after Microsoft resolved another vexing issue with Teams, this time involving locating specific notes or messages using the platform’s search function. 

Teams will soon launch a fully new search page that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to find the exact results you require for your company or family job. The new search results page features “a new search experience in Teams that will make discovering messages, people, answers, and files faster and more intuitive,” according to the firm. 

It goes on to state that “a new search results page delivers greater context and quicker results,” and that the tool would utilize “AI-powered relevance” based on who and what customers engage with the most in Teams and other¬†Microsoft¬†Office¬†365¬†email¬†services to deliver the best results.¬†

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Microsoft has raised its Office 365 and Microsoft 365 prices

For the first time in a decade, Microsoft is raising the price of its¬†Office 365¬†email¬†and Microsoft 365 services. The price hikes will¬†affect¬†commercial and corporate customers of Microsoft’s software as a¬†service (SaaS) products¬†in the coming year, with no changes in education or consumer pricing.¬†

The new Microsoft price will take effect on March 1st, 2022: 

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic (prices range between $5 and $6 per user)¬†
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium (starting at $20 and going up to $22)¬†
  • Office 365 E1 (prices range from $8 to $10)¬†
  • Office 365 E3 (prices range between $20 and $23)¬†
  • Office 365 E5 (starting at $35)¬†
  • Microsoft 365 E3 (starting at $32)¬†

Microsoft originally released Office 365 in 40 different regions in 2011, and the business has been steadily upgrading it since then. In a blog post today, Microsoft 365 head Jared Spataro notes that these price adjustments are “the first substantial pricing modification since we launched Office 365 a decade ago.” 

They also come at a time when Microsoft has announced a record year of revenue growth, owing to cloud services such as Office 365. Microsoft has around 300 million paid Office 365 seats, thus the pricing adjustments will very definitely increase Microsoft’s revenues and income next year.¬†

While bigger firms have benefitted from bulk discounts and bargains over the last decade, small businesses will face the consequences of a price hike as the economy recovers from the epidemic. Microsoft Teams Calling, OneDrive, SharePoint, and To-Do are just a few of the more than 20 programmes that have been introduced to Office 365 since its introduction. 

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Don’t fall for this phishing effort, Microsoft cautions Office 365 customers

Microsoft wishes to warn you about a phishing scam that uses the most basic of phishing techniques, such as slightly misspelt domain names, URLs, and sender addresses.¬†IT Consultant¬†and individuals are safe¬†if you’re hyper-aware of mistakes and detect them even when spam filters fail.¬†However, Microsoft has a caution for anyone who only glances at an email to see whether it’s from a valid sender: Look carefully.¬†

“An active phishing campaign is using a crafty combination of legitimate-looking original sender email addresses, spoofed display sender addresses that contain the target usernames and domains, and display names that mimic legitimate services to try and slip through email filters,” according to the Microsoft Security Intelligence Twitter account. 

If you get an email with file-sharing demands for incentives, staff reports, and other similar stuff, don’t click on the link. The URLs in these malicious emails are bad, and they can lead to a phishing website for Office 365, where you’ll be prompted to enter your credentials. 

The fact that “both URLs require sign-in to continue to the final page, circumventing many sandboxes” makes these phishing attempts more difficult than normal. Furthermore, according to Microsoft, this phishing effort employs various evasion methods that make it difficult to detect. 

Microsoft, on the other hand, isn’t only warning users about the threat; it’s also giving aid in tracking it out. To ensure that no phishing¬†office¬†365 email¬†have slipped through gateways and harmed innocent inboxes, you may download Microsoft’s sophisticated hunting query from GitHub.¬†

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Windows 365 is officially available – here’s how much it’ll cost you

We all are aware of Office 365 email which is widely used among individuals and businesses. The new Windows 365 service from Microsoft is now publicly accessible, providing consumers with a new method to interact with Windows 10 and, shortly, Windows 11. 

The virtualization service, which was announced last month, allows customers to broadcast a Windows desktop and associated programmes to any of their devices (even those running macOS, Linux, or Android) and from any place. 

Businesses may begin adopting Windows 365 cloud PCs, which are paid per user per month, starting today. With the exception of a tiny leak, Microsoft has kept its price cards close to its breast, but has recently released a comprehensive list broken down by configuration. 

Costs and configuration options for Windows 365 

Windows 365 is divided into two subscription options: Business and Enterprise. The former is geared at businesses with fewer than 300 people, while the latter is geared toward bigger businesses, although both provide the same set of functions. 

There are a total of twelve Windows 365 cloud PC configurations to select from, each with a distinct performance and storage amount. 

The lowest membership, which includes one virtual CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage, costs $20/¬£17 per month per user. This package is designed for personnel that simply need access to lightweight CRM software and the like, such as frontline and contact center staff. 

Users that undertake compute-intensive work often (for example, creatives or software engineers) will have access to a configuration with 8 vCPUs, 32GB RAM, and 512GB storage. Businesses will pay $158/¬£138 per month per user for this plan. 

Both Windows 365 Business and Enterprise have the same cost and configuration choices. Larger businesses that qualify for the Enterprise branch, on the other hand, will immediately receive a discount of $4.00/¬£3.40 per cloud PC. 

Customers who subscribe to Windows 365 Business may also take advantage of the discount, but they must first subscribe to Windows 10 Pro, Microsoft’s current business-oriented operating system. 

“Customers with valid Windows 10 Pro licenses can take advantage of the Windows Hybrid Benefit. Each individual who is given a Windows 365 Business license with a Windows Hybrid Benefit license must be the principal user of a Windows 10 Pro licensed device that is also their primary work device “explains the Frequently Asked Questions website. 

“During every subscription period in which you access the Windows 365 service, you must also access the service from your Windows 10 Pro licensed device at least once during that same term to preserve your discounted price.” 

For a period of 60 days, you may test three of the different configurations for free (the most powerful of which includes four vCPUs, 16GB RAM, and 256GB storage). The trial license, however, is limited to one user per company. 

Comparing Windows 365 to other services on the market is difficult because many are priced on a per-use basis, but Windows 365 charges a fixed cost for everything. Microsoft’s price, on the other hand, looks to be competitive across the whole range of configuration possibilities. 

For comparison, Amazon charges $28 a month for a virtual Windows PC with specs like Microsoft’s most inexpensive Windows 365 setup. 

Analysis: New Prospects 

From a cost, administrative, and productivity standpoint, Microsoft’s new virtualization service is expected to offer up a slew of new possibilities for organizations. 

Rather of hosting the operating system and programmes locally, which consumes both storage and computational resources, Windows 365 transmits all apps, data, and settings over the cloud, thereby transforming the device into a thin client. By lowering the hardware’s performance requirements, Windows 365 might help organisations reduce total expenses and shift CapEX to OpEX. 

The true beauty of the system, though, is that companies aren’t tied to a single performance option; Windows 365 lets clients adjust the performance of any cloud PC deployment based on the computing and storage requirements of each individual employee. It’s also simple to add and remove installations as demand changes throughout the year, with financial implications. 

Meanwhile, cloud PCs will show alongside traditional Windows machines in Microsoft Endpoint Manager, and the patch management procedure will stay the same, making the move as seamless as possible for IT company. 

Although Microsoft refuses to confirm or reject its plans when questioned,¬†it’s¬†not impossible¬†to foresee Windows 365 becoming available to customers in the future.¬†

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Microsoft Teams phones will soon be able to function like an old-school walkie-talkie

The extension of the push-to-talk walkie talkie feature in Microsoft Teams to more devices should make staying in touch with coworkers in the field a lot easier for firstline employees. 

The functionality will be accessible worldwide on Microsoft Teams phones in September 2021, according to a new article on the Microsoft 365 Roadmap. 

Users with compatible Microsoft Teams phones will be able to use their smartphone as a walkie talkie that works over both a cellular and wireless connection once the capability is available. Users will be able to talk to their team by pressing and holding a button and listening by releasing the button. 

Expansion 

The functionality was first made available for Android devices in January 2020, when Microsoft highlighted in a blog post how Teams’ walkie talkie feature might help staff carry fewer devices on a daily basis while also giving greater security over analogue devices. 

Microsoft claimed at the time that “this feature, integrated directly into Teams, decreases the number of devices employees must carry while also lowering IT expenses.” 

“Unlike analogue equipment connected to insecure networks, consumers no longer have to worry about crosstalk or external eavesdropping.” This feature may be used across geographic areas because Walkie Talkie works through Wi-Fi or cellular data.‚ÄĚ 

Teams Walkie Talkie accessories 

While the walkie talkie feature of Microsoft Teams will work with most Android smartphones and tablets, it may work better with a rugged smartphone because many of these devices have customizable buttons. 

In a blog post, Samsung revealed how Teams’ walkie talkie feature can be mapped to the programmable button on the Galaxy XCover Pro or even its new Galaxy XCover 5, allowing workers to use push-to-talk (PTT) capability without having to open their smartphone. 

The Jabra BlueParrot and Klein Valor Speaker have both been verified to operate with Teams Walkie Talkie, according to Microsoft. Firstline employees may enhance Teams’ walkie talkie functionality by attaching either a wired or wireless headset. 

When the functionality is available in September 2021, you’ll need to launch the Teams app on your smartphone and search for the Walkie Talkie symbol in the menu bar to get started. If it isn’t there, don’t panic; you can find it by tapping on More choices. 

Microsoft has a variety of Teams phones available, with Lenovo, Yealink, and Poly among the manufacturers that have signed on as partners. 

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