Microsoft has rolled out a major update to its Teams video calls that increases the number of participant views in a call by more than double.  

Currently, when hosting a video call with Teams, the number of participants is limited to four (or a 2×2 grid) on screen at a time, irrespective of the number of participants in the meeting. However, the new update will now allow nine (or a 3×3 grid) participants on a single screen. The company will be rolling out the update for all customers by the end of April. 

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“We will start rolling out our first update to view nine participants simultaneously by the end of April,” a Microsoft Teams engineer said on the Teams UserVoice page. “In parallel we are continuing work to increase this limit even further. Stay tuned!” 

While increasing the number of participants shown in a call to 9 is a welcome upgrade by Microsoft, however, it is still not enough in comparison to its competitor Zoom, which allows the ability to view up to 49 participants at a time.

Microsoft says it is working on adding an expanded gallery view in the future to include all participants in the video calls. 

“9 participants is just the beginning. We won’t stop till our users can see *all* participants in the meeting at the same time. Lots more innovation coming,” Rish Tandon, the CVP of Engineering for Microsoft Teams tweeted. 

With more and more people working from home due to the current global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Teams video calls grew by more than 1,000 percent last month, according to Microsoft. During a single week in March, Teams added 12 million users which brought the number up to 44 million daily active users.  

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