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Microsoft Teams’ new front row layout arrives later this year

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This new view is designed to improve hybrid work

Microsoft Teams’ new front row layout.
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft has been teasing its vision for the future of Teams meetings recently, and it’s now committing to making parts of it a reality this year. Front row is the official name for the new Microsoft Teams layout, which includes methods designed to bridge the hybrid work gap between those physically present in a meeting and remote participants.

“Visually, this new layout moves the video gallery to the bottom of the screen so in-room participants can see remote colleagues face to face across a horizontal plane–similar to if they were in the same room,” explains Jared Spataro, head of Microsoft 365.

Front row is designed to improve hybrid work.
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft will be using its new Fluid components to power this layout, with things like agenda, tasks, and notes all collaborative and updated in real time. The meeting chat will also be highly visible in this view, giving everyone equal footing to participate in the meeting.

Alongside this new view, Microsoft is also tweaking how it manages video calls in Teams. New video layouts for Teams Rooms will utilize the larger screen real estate of monitors and screens typically found in meeting rooms to highlight remote participants more clearly. A similar redesign is coming to Teams on Surface Hub, too. A new meeting canvas with chat bubbles, live reactions, and all the latest Teams features will enter preview later this month for Surface Hub owners.

Microsoft Teams will also be updated with the new Whiteboard design that’s coming this summer. You can read more about Microsoft’s Fluid components and Whiteboard plans here.