You can create your own avatar in Microsoft Teams Business and Enterprise starting this week

After being in public preview for the past few months, Microsoft is rolling out Avatars in Microsoft Teams to everyone starting this week.

Teams avatars

At Microsoft Build 2023, Microsoft detailed several updates for the Microsoft 365 suite of services. As usual, Microsoft Teams is a heavy focus. While there are not many new mind-blowing features for Teams itself this year, Microsoft did announce the rollout of several features that were previously in preview. This includes Teams Avatars which will be coming to Microsoft Teams business and enterprise customers this week. Also announced are new immersive experiences for Microsoft Teams in private preview.

Microsoft Teams news

It’s been in testing a public preview for a while already, but Microsoft is now announcing that any Microsoft Teams Enterprise or Business customers will be able to use avatars in Microsoft Teams. As the name suggests, this is a feature to lighten up your meetings whenever your camera is turned off. You can create a virtual representation of yourself and choose to have it appear on your video feed on the join meeting screen. You also can use avatar reactions, update the background with them, and change the camera position.

What is new, however, is Microsoft Mesh-powered immersive spaces for Microsoft Teams. This is now in a private preview and is a way for you to meet in the virtual space and enjoy in-person interactions like walking over to a group and waving at each other in the room. The feature can be used on both PCs or on a virtual reality headset, and depends on using the avatars and video feeds we mentioned earlier. Microsoft Mesh itself, meanwhile, is now moving to private preview. If you might recall, it’s a platform to allow developers to build custom immersive virtual experiences for the workspace, both via PCs and virtual reality.

Capping out the Teams news are two things. Microsoft is moving Live Share in Microsoft Teams to general availability status. It’s now new, as it was announced last year. But with this feature, you can annotate, edit, and interact with shared content in team time in Microsoft Teams. The Live Share SDK is now generally available. Secondly, Independent Software Developers can now grow their businesses with Teams through apps that target geographies, enjoy a revamped Team Store with keyword searches that better surface apps and a rating system, and also find Teams apps that extend to Outlook and Microsoft 365 in those respected stores.

Other Microsoft 365 news

Teams isn’t everything at Microsoft. There’s over Microsoft 365 news announced, too. Microsoft detailed that developers can now integrate apps and services into the new Microsoft 365 Copilot with plugins. It’s in preview now, and developers will be able to build these plugins with the Microsoft Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio. An early access program will include 50 plugins, and Microsoft is encouraging developers to build more.

Capping things out are new features for Microsoft Syntex, which is a cloud content management service. There’s now a Syntex Plugin for Microsoft 365 Copilot, which will give answers to suggested or user-generated questions about the information in files across Microsoft 365. In addition. Microsoft also announced that Syntex repository services will help enterprise developers build content-centric apps in Microsoft 365 faster.

That’s about all the news when it comes to Microsoft 365 at Build 2023. We’re keeping a close watch on the action, though, and will be updating you all week with stories from the event. Highlights so far include the new Microsoft 365 Copilot in Edge, some big updates to the Microsoft Store on Windows, and some new features for Windows 11.