PowerPoint presentations may change in the next few months, as Microsoft integrates live and pre-recorded video into the presentations you watch and create.
Microsoft’s engineering teams are always working hard to release features, and today it’s a Microsoft Spring 2022 update of sorts, on a variety of different topics. Microsoft announced a new Surface Hub webcam, updated features for Teams and other productivity apps, and some specific improvements to how Microsoft treats workers who return to the office. For this, Microsoft also released a survey indicating that many workers it’s not All those interested in returning to work, either preferring to work remotely or as a combination of work at home and personal work.
PowerPoint touches on many different lives and professions (even holiday parties) so it’s no surprise that it includes two of its most important announcements. Specifically, Microsoft is integrating PowerPoint Cameo with the Recording Studio functionality, so you’ll have more ways to present video as part of your presentations. PowerPoint Cameo takes an idea featured in mmhmm and other solutions: It captures a small live feed of you speaking through your slides, and combines that with your presentation. All Recording Studio does is simply add the ability to pre-record that video, so you’ll have the option to render the video live or pre-record so others can review it in their own time – as we’ve already seen with the ability to record Teams calls, for example.
However, all actions have consequences, and Microsoft’s latest Future of Work survey highlights a problem: Working at home (or just work) has led to a massive 252 percent increase in time spent in Teams meetings since February 2020. Microsoft has used the measurement Anonymous remote work inside Microsoft 365 to identify another worrying trend: The average workday increased by 46 minutes during that time, and time spent working after hours increased by 28 percent. On weekends, employees are now working 14 percent more than usual.
In the survey of 31,000 people, Microsoft found that 51 percent of hybrid workers (dividing work between home and office) plan to go fully remote, and 57 percent of remote workers want to return to the office part-time as hybrid workers.
The inescapable question: If Microsoft now allows workers to produce video PowerPoint presentations that allow for more asynchronous after-hours work, isn’t Microsoft simply contributing to the problem of burnout workers? Microsoft does not think so.
“Our customers tell us they want to empower people for a dynamic and seamless world of work, and the data shows that the shift to asynchronous work is part of the new normal,” a Microsoft representative said in a statement. “Monthly use of meeting recordings has doubled since March 2020, allowing people to keep up with meetings at a time that suits them best. As we emerge into this new hybrid reality, we focus on building experiences that enable everyone to connect and engage from anywhere, anytime. We are also aware That not only employees are in different time zones, but they choose to work their own unique hours, if their jobs give them flexibility. With that said, some employees may choose to listen to a meeting rather than attend directly, because of their individual scenarios and we want to empower them and give them flexibility to do that.”
Microsoft said Recording Studio and Cameo do not provide a script for employees to review, but videos can be uploaded to OneDrive for Business, which provides subtitles.
Microsoft also provided some timeline updates: Last September, Microsoft’s migration of the PowerPoint Presentation Coach to Teams (speaker coach) would be completed by the second quarter of 2022. Microsoft is also improving Whiteboard within Teams, with new templates, feedback, and features collaborative, also in the second quarter of 2022. Finally, Microsoft is also adding a language translation service, which allows the presenter to assign human translators to multiple attendees, with the translated audio playing at a higher volume.
Adaptation to hybrid work
Microsoft is also announcing new capabilities to focus on hybrid work, one of the topics Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella promotes a lot. Hybrid work — the flexibility to roam between the office and telecommuting — is as much a cultural problem as it is a productive one.
Microsoft already offers a program called Microsoft Teams Phone, where users can make voice calls from within the app to landlines, VOIP phones, and more. Microsoft is extending this with a program called Operator Connect Mobile, which does the opposite: it provides users with a single “business line” or phone number for their desktop and mobile phone, allowing anyone to call that number and connect with you whether you’re in the office or on the go. Mobile device Microsoft says it will roam between Wi-Fi and cellular as you go between the two.
Companies like Vonage have already offered number one access to everyone for years, but Microsoft is now joining in, too. (To be fair, an app-to-app calling like Skype or Messenger actually finds you on whatever device you’re using.) Technically, Operator Connect Mobile would be a software for employees, not consumers — but the subtext is that the line between work and personal life is blurred Also.
To make meeting attendees feel more engaged, Microsoft is asking people who use the devices that come with Teams Rooms to turn off the audio — and soon, it’ll ask them to turn on their laptop’s camera even if they’re in the room. The idea, according to Microsoft, is to take remote users, who have their cameras, and make them equivalent to the people in the room — one person, one face. This avoids implicitly referring to a group of “present” attendees and a group of “anyone else. Likewise, Microsoft takes the Surface Hub 2 and places screens from the remote attendees at eye level, called Front Row. It’s another way to make everyone feel equal.”
Microsoft took a similar approach with the launch of the Surface Hub 2 12MP Smart Camera, a webcam that only works with the Surface Hub 2. We’ve seen more webcams like the Dell UltraSharp 4K webcam automatically pan and zoom to focus on its user’s face, and Microsoft has taken a similar approach. similar. Using algorithms that search for attendees, the webcam will narrow and sharpen the frame of all attendees in the room.
Microsoft said Microsoft’s Surface Hub 2S Smart Camera is available today for $800.