Hello Readers, I hope you’re well.

Welcome to Episode 35 of the UCStatus Podcast. This episode features me (@randychapman) & Mark Vale (@MarkVale83) and Shawn Harry (@shawnharry).

This week our chat follows a welcome announcement that Microsoft Teams would be coming to Portal by Facebook. We found out from a Tweet sent by UCStatus guest Sandhya Rao (@sandhyarrao) from Microsoft.

The post in the Verge states that

Aside from Facebook-owned Messenger and WhatsApp, all Portal devices now support Zoom, Cisco’s Webex, BlueJeans, and GoToMeeting. And in December, Portal will add support for Microsoft Teams, potentially opening it up for use by a wider swath of mid to large-size companies.

The integration with Teams is an example of how Facebook thinks Portal will increasingly be used as a standalone video conferencing device for remote workers. Next year, the company will launch a program to let businesses bulk order and manage Portals that can, for the first time, be used without a Facebook or WhatsApp account.

We’re really looking ahead to the future of hybrid work,” Micah Collins, Facebook’s director of product management for Portal, told The Verge during a virtual briefing last week. He said that Portal is primarily used between families but that the company saw a noticeable uptick in usage for work meetings since pandemic shutdowns began last year.

https://www.theverge.com/2021/9/21/22684447/facebook-releases-portal-go-plus-video-calling-devices

This photo clearly shows a Portal device in a Teams meeting.

Definitely an interesting prospect. And if you’ve been listening to our show for a while, (I promise, no quiz). You’ll know that we have been talking about Teams on consumer devices for a long time. In fact, we asked Ilya and Greg from Microsoft in Episode 23 back in February. Listen from about 50 minutes in (or just listen to it all, it was a great episode).

Anyway, we think it’s a cool idea to bring Teams in whatever form to cheaper, consumer devices. The Facebook Portal retails for around £99 and many of you probably already have one. It can be used with Facebook of course, and WhatsApp. But also Zoom right now. Adding Teams just makes sense, and should really help pave the way to the “future of hybrid work”.

My question to you is. Would you use an inexpensive, multi-use consumer device either in your main family space or in your home office as your dedicated Teams video device?

Listen below to hear our thoughts.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below.

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