As we move into October, Microsoft Teams is gaining new features. The new tools will further boost the ever-evolving workplace collaboration and chat services. With this latest update, Teams users can now access a couple of features that will help when giving presentations.

Hard Mute and Spotlight will give presentation users, such as educators, the ability to add more focus.

Microsoft initially announced both features at Ignite 2020 last month and started rolling them out. Now the company is formally revealing them as available to all users on Windows and other Microsoft Teams platforms.

Starting with Hard Mute, it does as its name suggests. Users giving a presentation can now stop attendees from unmuting their microphone during a meeting. This prevents any unwanted audio during a presentation.

Microsoft says the tool is turned off by default, so users will need to enable it if they want.


As for Spotlight, it is a feature that allows presenters to focus on a specific person withing a meeting. It is easy to see how this tool can be applied for educators. As an example, a teacher wants to ask a question to a specific pupil, they can now focus on that person with Spotlight.

Microsoft points out the feature only functions in a live meeting. This means users who are recording their presentations won’t see the individual highlighted on playback.

Teams users are coming off the back of a September where numerous new features were brought to the platform. One of Microsoft’s focuses last month was delivering a better experience for users. With that in mind, the company made several performance tweaks.

For example, video rendering on desktop will now reduce GPU and CPU load, a 40% battery gain when working in the background on iOS, and better performance in low connection situations on Android.