Back in 2007, Bill Gates caused a sensation when he announced that voice software would spell the end of the PBX. He was speaking at the launch of Office Communications Server, the centrepiece of Microsoft’s unified communications strategy to bring together e-mail, instant messaging, presence, voice, and video. Although there was a lot of scepticism around that remark, he knew a new era of communications was starting that day.   

Fast forward 17 years, and we have the latest evolution of that vision with the launch of Front Row, Microsoft’s latest innovation to help further blur the lines between virtual and in-person meeting participants.  

With Front Row, Microsoft has moved the video gallery to the bottom of the screen, so remote participants are eye-level with people in the room. Microsoft has also made it possible for everyone in a Teams Room call, whether virtual or in-person, to see and react to chat comments during a meeting. 

 Of course, some things never change – as has always been the case, the experience is only as good as the enabling technology, and that’s where Poly comes in. Since those early days of OCS, Poly has worked hand in hand with Microsoft, partnering with them to bring their vision of seamless collaboration to life with the absolute best of Video, Audio and Wearable solutions, maximizing the power of Microsoft Teams. 

Poly has an unparalleled track record of innovation in video conferencing, and now with Front Row available to further drive meeting equality, we are thrilled that our Pro-grade range of intelligent cameras will continue that tradition of facilitating the best possible experience for every meeting participant, whether in person or virtual, levelling the playing field and ensuring an equal environment for all.  

Whether you’re in a focus, small, medium, or large room or not in the room at all, Poly MeetingAI intelligent features like Acoustic Fence, NoiseBlock AI and Group Framing will provide effortless collaboration and enhanced experience every time.  

In addition, speaker tracking, which includes industry-firsts conversation mode and presenter mode, will be particularly powerful with Microsoft Front Row, as it will highlight the speaker in the room rather than just a group shot. With the recent certification of the Poly Studio E70 camera, this unique Poly experience will now be available in medium and large rooms.  

And watch this space- our continuous drive for improvement is set to deliver an even more innovative and inclusive experience in the future, further leveraging the power of Microsoft Teams Front Row to create a truly blended world where all have a seat at the table.   

Please see the original announcement and latest from Microsoft here and on LinkedIn here.