Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions

Virtual Backgrounds for Video, 10,000 users in a team and PSTN join announcements coming to Microsoft Teams 2020 Q2

Virtual Backgrounds for Video (Background Effects) for Microsoft Teams

For a long time in Microsoft Teams, we have had background blur, but a super popular feature in Zoom is to fully replace your background with a different image.

This works without the need for a special green screen or any special equipment. This was announced as far back as Enterprise Connect in March 2019 and it looks like it’s finally coming in Q2 2020.




Microsoft Technical Fellow, PowerShell inventor and all-round good guy at Microsoft has been giving a bit of a preview of this feature on his twitter

Microsoft says “This new feature in Teams allow meetings attendees to customize their background from a list of pre-selected images”. Implying it might not give the user completely free choice of background, though that seems to be what we’ve seen in the previews so far. It might make sense to have the option to restrict the images available for appropriateness or copyright concerns.



Roadmap item 62890


Up to 10,000 users in an individual team

A feature for large orgs who want to use teams in more of a broadcast to the whole company or a whole division scenario, Teams will now support up to 10,000 users in a single team. Microsoft calls out particular use cases in first-line workers.

This will also allow Org wide teams to scale to orgs with up to 10,000 users.

These are usually teams/channels where only owners can post messages and it’s recommended @ mentions for the team and channel are disabled to avoid excess noise.


Roadmap item 62549


Per meeting control of PSTN participant join/leave meeting announcements


This setting is already available at the tenant level, but it’s now going to be surfaced as a per meeting user-settable option.

Any user who schedules a Teams meeting will see a new setting in Meeting Options page of a meeting to control the announcement sound when a PSTN/dial-in participant joins or leaves the meeting.


Roadmap item 59919

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.


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  • Any word on when they’re going to implement the basic ability of showing more than 4 video windows during a video meeting?

  • Everyone in our company loved teams until Corona. Now they all want zoom. Microsoft teams better get on it for bigger calls, more window views, custom backgrounds, etc. not sure how long I can hold everyone off. I would think by mid April we will be moving to Zoom if these things are not rolled out.

Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions