At the start of 2020, Microsoft introduced its Walkie Talkie feature for Microsoft Teams, designed to help front-line workers. The tool has been available on Android, including the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro rugged smartphone. Now Microsoft is extending the feature to Teams Phones.

You may be wondering what is the difference between Teams phones and Android phones with Teams? It is a fair question, and I don’t think Microsoft has done enough to highlight what exactly Teams phones are. Either way, Teams phones are not mobile smartphones but rather business phones with displays.

These are built by third-party OEMs such as Lenovo, Crestron, Yealink, and AudioCodes. Basically, a Teams phone is an old-fashioned plug-in phone with a display and optimizations for Microsoft Teams.

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According to the Microsoft 365 roadmap, Teams phones are now getting the Walkie Talkie feature. You can color me surprised that this tool was not already on what is a core hardware experience for Teams.

How it Works

Walkie Talkie gives users the ability to communicate with each other within an organization. Specifically, it is a push-to-talk feature for cloud-based voice communication.

Working through Wi-Fi or cellular connection, the Walkie Talkie feature enables frontline workers to connect securely on their smartphone. The idea is to bring one less device. It is worth noting the feature is available across Microsoft Teams. I am unsure whether it is fundamentally needed on a connected business phone, but it still provides quick secure communication.

Microsoft is still developing the feature for integration with Teams phones. The Microsoft 365 roadmaps points to a September 2021 launch for the tool.

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