Setting a Duration for User Presence
Among the recent Teams updates now starting into the deployment cycle are two changes loosely related to time. The first is MC223792 (8 October), saying that users can set a duration for their presence setting. This is Microsoft Roadmap item 68726. The roll-out is starting at the end of October (now) and should be complete worldwide in mid-November.
This update comes hot on the heels of the new Offline presence state released earlier this month. A new Duration option in the presence menu allows users to set their status and for how long the status is valid. Standard settings take care of the most common durations from 30 minutes to the remainder of the week (Figure 1). If you want a presence to last longer, such as in the case of an extended duration, you can opt for a custom duration. Teams was quite happy when I set a presence to be Do Not Disturb until 1 December 2021.
Update May 10, 2021: After some testing and customer feedback, the Teams developers decided to remove Available from the set of presence states shown in the Duration drop down because the “promise” that the state could be maintained for a set period wasn’t achievable. For example, someone shown as Available for a set period might become unavailable because they are dragged into an unplanned meeting. The Available status can be set in an immediate state by clicking on your avatar and selecting it there.
Telling People Meetings Will End Soon
The next update is MC222346 (17 September, updated November 3), bringing news of the introduction of an end-of-meeting notification for Teams meetings (Microsoft Roadmap item 67122). When a meeting is five minutes before its scheduled end, Teams displays an on-screen banner to advise participants (Figure 2) that maybe it’s a good time to start their closing arguments. The banner remains on screen for 10 seconds before disappearing.
Not an Automatic Termination
What’s critical is that the end of meeting notification is strictly informational. Its appearance does not mean that the meeting will terminate in five minutes. Although it might be good if people wrapped up the call and went to the next appointment in their agenda, control over the length of a meeting remains with the organizer (participants have different roles in a Teams meeting), who can choose to end a meeting when they wish.
Microsoft expects to roll-out the five-minute notification in late November with deployment expected to complete in early December.