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Popping Out Teams Windows
Updated May 10 with information about pop-out window support for meetings.
Office 365 notification MC207218 posted on March 21 confirmed the news shared in Microsoft’s What’s New in Microsoft Teams 3rd anniversary edition announcement that the Teams desktop client has its first pop-out window, but only on Windows (Microsoft 365 roadmap item 57292). According to a clarification posted by Microsoft on March 23, they will “provide support for Mac and Linux clients in the coming weeks.” The roll-out to Office 365 tenants begins in early April and should complete to all tenants worldwide by the end of May.
On May 9, Microsoft posted MC212453 to announce multi-window support for calls (Microsoft 365 roadmap item 57294). This feature will roll out in multiple phases (see section below).
Since the introduction of Teams everything has been done inside a single multi-paned window and the only way to have multiple windows for Teams has been to create multiple browser tabs or windows. Now, the desktop client can pop-out window for personal (1×1) and group chats and (soon) meetings. Pop-outs aren’t supported for channel conversations. You can’t pop-out a personal chat in the Teams browser client.
Microsoft is keen to emphasize that multi-window support enables users to multitask more efficiently by dividing work across multiple windows and “more easily move between ongoing conversations.” In practice, the feature is particularly helpful when you need to keep an eye on a chat while working in another area in the client, such as viewing a document or composing a salient response to a topic in a channel. It’s also a popular request in Teams User Voice.
Popping a Teams Chat
You can pop-out a chat window several ways. First, find someone you want to chat with in your chat list and either double-click a chat or select the Pop-out chat option from the […] menu or the fly-out icon (Figure 1). The option is available for 1×1 chats with federated users in other Office 365 tenants and Skype consumer users.
Alternatively, the same fly-out icon is available in the top right-hand corner of a chat (Figure 2).
You can also use the /pop command in the command bar to search for a user and pop-out a window to chat with them (Figure 3). This is probably how power users will use the feature.
In all cases, the window created for the pop-out chat. As you can see in Figure 4, you can take the same actions as are available in the chat pane in the desktop client.
Microsoft plans to deliver multi-window support for Teams meetings (Figure 5) in several phases starting in June 2020 (the timeline is subject to change).
- June: Multi-window support for meetings is disabled in the Teams client and must be enabled by the user through the General section of Teams Settings.
- July: Multi-window support for meetings is enabled by default. If they prefer to use the old experience, users can disable multi-window support through Teams settings.
- August: Multi-window support for meetings becomes the norm for Teams and the control to enable or disable the option is removed from Teams settings.
Update September 5: According to an update (MC212453) published by Microsoft, October is the new target date for the complete switchover to the new meeting experience.
When multi-window meetings are enabled, Teams automatically creates a new window each time you join a meeting.
In addition, Microsoft is moving the meeting and call controls (mute, recording, hands up, chat, leave, etc.) to the top of the meeting window (Figure 6) to make better use of screen real estate. Microsoft says that the move also makes sure that controls don’t block underlying content. The new pop-out window supports newly announced features like background effects and 3 x 3 view.
Disabling the New Experience
If you don’t like the new pop-out windows, you can disable them in the General section of Teams settings (Figure 7). You’ll have to restart Teams afterwards to revert to the old behavior.
Although user interface changes like this don’t usually make it into the pages of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook, we thought that this update was interesting enough to bring to your attention.