Microsoft is refreshing the backgrounds available in Microsoft Teams and adding in new animated versions. It’s the biggest update to the virtual backgrounds in Teams since the original collection launched in 2020, with new options to replace the messy room behind you with an idyllic scene.
Initially, these will be a large collection of new still images followed by some animated versions in June. Microsoft is sharing some details on the new still background imagery today, but it looks like we’ll have to wait until next month to see how these animated backgrounds compare to the ones that have been available on rival Zoom for years.
“Featuring all-new images, the reimagined visual library for Teams has been thoughtfully designed to represent the people that use them and how they work best,” says the Microsoft design team in a new blog post today. “Looking at the popularity of certain images, we noticed that customers are equally enthusiastic about being depicted in fun and imaginative scenes as they are being portrayed in realistic spaces like a coworking space, office, or home.”
There are now six categories of Microsoft Teams backgrounds, including ones that focus on wood and light, others that have contemporary backgrounds, and some that are colorful clouds or mountains. There are even backgrounds that are designed to be accessible and cater to how people on the autism scale might be affected by patterns and materials. These are part of a larger “belonging” category that also focuses on vision, hearing, mental health, and more.
The new backgrounds will start launching today for Microsoft Teams’ 300 million monthly active users.