One of the most important elements that any organization requires to have functional teams is effective communication. Especially when you are trying to establish a hybrid work environment. This is because failure to create good communication can negatively affect collaboration on projects and overall productivity.
Reasons like these are why platforms like Microsoft Teams can be vital for enhancing the way your organization works. Teams can help you establish good communication channels and boost cooperation.
And there are a number of different features that Microsoft has introduced to help streamline workflow. Multi-window support is one such feature that has plenty to offer and I’ll be going over that below.
Challenges that needed addressing
Since the introduction of Microsoft Teams a few years ago, the service has brought a lot of convenience to how employees can communicate and collaborate. However, despite the great features on offer, there were issues that were constantly brought forward by users.
These issues involved instances such as where a user could be on multiple chats while simultaneously trying to edit a file and join. Doing this would be somewhat challenging as you would need to leave each action ongoing in the background.
And then you would need to go through the process of running around later trying to figure out where you would have left off with each action. Most users needed multi-window support to simplify the way they work.
Multi-tasking is a key element for a lot of people to work as efficiently as they need. So it’s no surprise that Microsoft developed the multi-window support feature to enhance the work experience for their clients.
What is Multi-window support?
Multi-window support is simply a feature that enables users the option to pop out chats, meetings, calls, or documents into separate windows. The goal here is that users will be able to easily multitask in the team collaboration app.
In the past, people have faced challenges when trying to keep up with multiple conversations, particularly those docked to one application window. But, with multi-window support, users can now view full-sized, separate windows for meetings or calls as well as the main Teams client during a Teams meeting.
Furthermore, to prevent blocking underlying content, Microsoft has designed it such that meeting and call controls such as video, chat, mute, etc., are now found at the top of the meeting window.
Windows 365 users will be glad to know that this feature has just recently been made generally available to them. Undoubtedly, this is something that can be of great value to your communication and collaboration with a hybrid workforce.
Getting started with the process of setting up multi-window support is a relatively simple exercise. To begin, you’ll need to ensure that you have the latest Teams Desktop version 1.5.00.11865. This will be necessary for you to enable the feature on Azure Virtual Desktop.
Two download options are available, one in MSI format and the other in EXE format. Once you are finished updating the Teams desktop client to version 1.5.00.11865, a banner will appear. This will occur when you open the new Teams desktop client for the first time.
And then to turn on the multi-window feature, all you’ll need to do is restart Microsoft Teams. If you want to check whether multi-window has been successfully turned on, right-click on any chat. If you get a “pop out chat” option then you know the feature has been enabled.
Using the pop-out facility
Before you can use the pop-out facility, there are a few additional things about this feature that you need to know. Microsoft has designed it to be a simple and easy-to-use feature that should pose few if any problems. One of the things to note is that the feature will not allow you to pop out the same chat or app twice at a time.
But, you can still open several chats and apps simultaneously. Also, there are certain tasks that require you to go back to the main window. These include app installations, attaching files, and scheduling of meetings.
How it works
There are a few different ways that users can take advantage of the multi-window feature to enhance communication and collaboration. These may include:
- Multiple windows for Chat
The multi-window feature can be used for separating a one-on-one chat conversation into a window. To do that you’ll first need to head over to Microsoft Teams. Once there, go to the Chat tab. Next, you need to select the chat or conversation thread that you intend to separate. With that done, click the pop-out button and you should be able to see the chat appear in a separate window.
- Multiple windows for Meetings
Teams allows you to separate a meeting that is within a channel. For that, you start by opening Microsoft Teams and then joining the meeting. The latter will then open in a separate window. And if you want to join or start a meeting in a different channel then it will also open in its own window.
- Multiple windows for channel tabs
There are some tabs in Channels that can be separated into windows of their own. Generally speaking, the tabs that can be separated do not include default tabs such as the Wiki, Posts, and Files tab.
However, some other tabs such as the Planner tab can be separated into a window. In a similar manner to the previous cases, start by navigating to Microsoft Teams and then going to the Teams tab.
Next, you’ll need to select a channel and then go to the tab that you intend to separate. With that done, click the pop-out button and you’ll see the tab separate into its own window.
Communication in Teams
If you want to start a conversation, you can do so in the appropriate chat or channel by typing a message in the conversation field at the bottom of the screen. And as soon as you post a message in the channel all the other team members will be able to see it. Anyone within a channel can post messages.
Teams also allows you to have several conversations going on simultaneously in different channels. A conversation thread can easily develop because of how simple it is to reply to messages and how all topic-related replies are linked together.
You also get the ability to direct messages to specific team members and that individual will be given an alert. This is a great way of ensuring that messages that are of significant importance to certain team members reach them.
Communication in Microsoft Teams can also be done via audio or video calls. These features that are built into the service are referred to as meetings. For the convenience of users, these meetings can be started on demand or you can schedule them at a time that is convenient for everyone.
Starting a meeting is pretty simple with you only needing to go to the relevant channel and click on the camera icon that you’ll find at the bottom. Once a meeting has begun, you’ll be able to see your other team members in the sidebar. Additionally, by looking in the team’s conversation thread, others may see that there is a meeting in progress and can thus choose to join in.
Benefits of multi-window support
Having multi-window support can be of immense benefit to the way organizations carry out their various projects. For starters, when you have the option to open up multiple separate windows, it makes handling several different tasks simultaneously a far easier and significantly faster process.
Rather than having to go through the cumbersome process of constantly switching back and forth and checking where you left off, multi-window support gives you a more streamlined experience.
This is something that those who work in fast-paced environments will be extremely grateful for. As a result of this capability, users can experience greater flexibility when using Microsoft Teams and this can potentially increase an organization’s productivity.
Setting up Microsoft Teams
Those who would be interested in using Microsoft Teams for their organizations will find it easy to set up. Microsoft includes Teams in the Windows 11 and Windows 10 images optimized for Microsoft 365 apps.
These optimized images that are available in the Windows 365 image gallery have been designed to support Teams chat, meeting optimizations, presence, and calling. In addition, the images in the gallery come pre-configured with the required optimization components. So when you install Teams on your Cloud PC you’ll be getting an optimized experience.
Because of the optimization components, users can do peer-to-peer audio and video calls from their devices to those of their colleagues. Therefore, this should give users the same experience as that of using Microsoft Teams on a physical endpoint. Below are some of the major benefits of the optimizations:
- You get quality peer-to-peer streaming facilitated by WebRTC and rendered directly on the endpoint.
- You also get enhanced hardware redirection support because devices will be redirected as the same hardware device.
- Endpoints running Windows 10/11 as well as macOS will benefit from all the advantages of the modern media stack. And that includes HW video decoding.
Availability of user support
Although the Microsoft Teams multi-window support may offer plenty to help users streamline their work, organizations still need additional support to simplify the process of adopting Microsoft Teams.
The availability of Teams may be a fantastic way for organizations to rearrange the way they work, but the platform needs to be easy to use. As with all technology, people need to be able to use it with relative ease otherwise it ends up being another ‘great’ product that no one uses.
Microsoft wants to make sure that does not happen and so they provide comprehensive training material for end-users which includes a training channel on YouTube, live online training, and a start guide that provides you with the basics. With all of this, Microsoft Teams will provide end-users with more than adequate resources to learn how to use their application and get the most out of it.
With all that Windows 365 multi-window support can offer clients, it’s still extremely important to have good security in place. When we look at Teams we realize that it is built on the Microsoft 365 and Office 365 hyper-scale, enterprise-grade cloud.
Therefore, users will get the advanced security and compliance capabilities that we know this platform provides. Enterprises will get team-wide and organization-wide two-factor authentication, single sign-on through Active Directory, and encryption of data in transit and at rest. These features are invaluable, particularly for organizations with staff working remotely.
This is because account security isn’t linked to password or device security so remote workers using personal devices can maintain high levels of security. Given the levels of cybercrime in recent years, Microsoft has ensured that Teams gets a variety of built-in security features. And because of Active Directory, admins can configure these features to cater specifically to the needs of their organizations.
With an increasing number of organizations looking to have part of their workforce working remotely, communication platforms like Microsoft Teams are a hot item right now. And with features like multi-window support being added to Windows 365, users of the Cloud PC can better communicate and collaborate with their colleagues.
No one likes the cumbersome process that you are faced with when there is no multi-window support as this can adversely affect how efficiently you can work. The ability to leverage multi-window features allows you to multitask with greater ease.
By doing so, users can streamline their workflow and potentially boost productivity. So with all these great features and more in development, Windows 365 users can continue to get the best of what Microsoft has to offer.