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This Microsoft Teams update will help enforce social distancing rules

man on video call with colleagues
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Keeping control of your Microsoft Teams meetings could soon get a lot easier thanks to a new update aimed at limiting participant numbers.

The video conferencing service has announced new meeting room capacity notifications for Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android, hopefully helping prevent virtual overcrowding.

The feature could also help in-office staff decide whether to move an in-person meeting online as concerns over Covid continue to rise.

Overcrowded

According to its entry on the Microsoft 365 roadmap (opens in new tab), users will now see a notification on the front of room display alerting in-room meeting participants if the room is over-capacity.

This decision is based on the capacity defined in a room account, which for Android users of Microsoft Teams can be limited in order to cope with computing power and battery life.

Microsoft notes that only cameras that support people counting will support this feature.

When a panel is deployed outside a Teams Room (opens in new tab) that supports this feature, an alert will also be visible on the Teams panel, notifying people outside the room that it has reached capacity.

Microsoft introduced people counting to Teams in 2020 as more and more users flocked to the platform after being told to work from home. Currently, up to 1,000 people can chat and call in to a Microsoft Teams meeting, although this number rises to up to 20,000 for view-only and listen-only calls, such as presentations or webinars.

The new meeting room capacity notifications are set to roll out in February 2022, with all Microsoft Teams on Android users around the world able to experience it.

Users will need to ensure their devices are running some of the latest Android builds, after Microsoft recently revealed it will soon revoke support (opens in new tab) for versions of Teams running on older versions of the software. Support will be pulled for Teams on Android 5 on March 1, 2022, while Android 6 and 7 will retain support until July 1 and September 1, respectively.

Mike Moore
Mike Moore

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.