Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 Collaboration news and opinions

Is Microsoft making a Surface branded Microsoft Teams Speakerphone?

Update 16th September: Ilya Bukshteyn has commented that there are no plans for a Microsoft Teams speaker at the moment on the LinkedIn thread

Microsoft are a software company, but they are also a hardware company. That can make things interesting.

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Microsoft has apparently been prototyping portable speakerphone that looks to be aimed at meeting scenarios.  A new patent recently made public and spotted by Windows United, shows a portable speaker that looks much like a Google Home Mini.

Its interesting that One of the listed inventors, Malek Chalabi, is a principle design manager for Microsoft Teams devices. It looks similar in form factor and function as the various existing certified speakerphones.

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Patients get filled all the time that do not come to fruition, so this might come to nothing, but its interesting none the less.

It’s also interesting that the Microsoft Surface Headphones are *not* certified for Microsoft Teams. There was even a Skype for Business Certified program for PCs/laptops, which has many models listed, Microsoft Surface Book 2-15” was certified, but no other Surface devices were. The program ended in June 2019 and there is no “PC” category for Microsoft Teams certification.

So will we see the Surface product teams get more into Microsoft Teams devices and certification? We shall see.

About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

A Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master, Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Microsoft Collaboration specialists Modality Systems.

Tom stays up to date with industry developments and shares news and his opinions on his blog, Microsoft Teams Podcast and email list. He is a regular speaker at events around the world.

6 comments

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  • I’ve had a discussion with Jabra why we really need the USB dongle with their Evolve headsets to fully support SfB/Teams. It’s a real pain since they get lost and break since they stick out of the laptop. In the end it seems like Bluetooth chips in laptops are not made for real time voice nor can support all the added functionality you get to control the call in Teams (mute etc). So even though voice “might/will” work, it’s not fully supported. My experience is that it really doesn’t work well, especially if you have the headset Bluetooth connected to your phone at the same time. Maybe that is why the Microsoft Surface Headphones are not and never will be certified since it’s BT only and without a dongle?

  • Don’t believe what you see in patent fillings, as there’s a significant (like 1-2 years) delay between fillings and the info becoming public.

    Also to the other comment, the dongles are needed based on a lot of variance in quality of BT radios in PCs / laptops.

  • I understand with the dongles. Maybe that’s why Microsoft simply stopped certifying laptops for Teams since “most” of them simply has crappy BT radios :)

    • But in the cases of surface they own the laptop. I hope they can put first class bluetooth in their PC’s in the future.

      Would love a world with no dongles :-)

  • Are there any researches happening at all for AI integrated, software based noise cancellation ? No matter how hard you try there is still going to be a large number of users who end up using their laptop mic/speakers to join audio calls and end up complaining Teams / Sfb for the poor experience.

Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 Collaboration news and opinions