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Microsoft Teams Video Calls Expanding To 49 Visible Participants

The Teams gallery view is slated to expand from the current maximum of nine participants at once.

Microsoft Teams is set to get another expansion of its gallery view for video calls, this time bringing Teams video to 49 visible participants, Microsoft confirmed to CRN.

That will expand Teams from the current maximum of nine visible participants. Moving to a 49-person gallery view will also bring Teams to parity with the popular Zoom videoconferencing app.

[Related: 5 Big Microsoft Teams Announcements That Partners Should Know]

“The Microsoft Teams roadmap does include increasing the number of people viewable during a Teams video call to 49,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in an email to CRN.

The statement followed a report in the Wall Street Journal that cited an upcoming expansion to 49 participants at a time for Teams video. The Microsoft spokesperson and the Journal’s report did not provide a timeframe for the increase.

Video calling on Teams currently has a 3 x 3 grid for viewing nine participants simultaneously, up from the original maximum of four visible participants. The expansion to nine visible participants launched for Teams users in May.

“We realize 3×3 is a start, but not good enough,” a Microsoft representative posted in a Teams user feedback forum in May. “We are continuing to work to include more videos during a meeting, as well as enabling support for mobile devices.”

Teams—an Office 365 app that includes group chat and instant messaging, along with video and audio calling--has seen explosive growth in usage as a result of a COVID-19 pandemic and widespread shift to work-from-home.

Teams has surpassed 75 million daily active users, Microsoft has said — up from 32 million daily active users as of March 11. Solution providers have played a pivotal role in enabling Teams for the massive surge in users in recent months, Microsoft and solution provider executives have told CRN.

With Teams, "Microsoft has shown some real leadership in surveying the current space and pushing out new user features," said Michael Goldstein, president and CEO of LAN Infotech, a Microsoft partner in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "They access the market, look where they can improve and react fast. Hats off to the Teams development crew."

Meanwhile, Microsoft has said it will soon address another wish-list item for many Teams users by enabling separate windows for meetings and calls in the collaboration app. Teams currently restricts users to using a single window within the app at a time.

But this month, "multi-window experiences" will be introduced to Teams meetings and calls, the company says on its Microsoft 365 Roadmap page.

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