What’s New in Microsoft Teams | August 2023

Welcome to the August 2023 edition of What’s New in Teams! Following a month of great announcements from Microsoft Inspire 2023, we are not slowing down by bringing you 52 new features and devices for the month of August.

We have a great line-up of new features to announce. My personal favorites are Animated Backgrounds in Teams Meetings which allows me to replace their existing background with a dynamic animation for a more immersive virtual environment and the Task lists sync in Microsoft Loop to sync my to-do list across my Microsoft Planner and To Do apps to ensure I do not miss important tasks. And every month we add new devices that certified and ready to use for Teams. Find devices that are certified for Teams for all types of spaces and uses at aka.ms/teamsdevices.


Please read about all the updates and let me know your thoughts! I’ll do my best to respond and answer questions as they come up.




Teams Phone

Chat and Collaboration

Teams Rooms and Devices

Frontline Workers and Vertical Solutions

IT Admin and Security



Teams Premium

Teams for Education




Animated Backgrounds
The dynamic background feature in Teams Meetings allows you to replace their existing background with a dynamic animation for a more immersive virtual environment. It offers various options to enhance meeting experience with creativity and personalization according to their preferences.

Before a meeting starts, on the pre-join screen, select Effects and Avatars > Video effects and select a new animated background, identified by the small video icon in the bottom-left corner of the preview picture. During a meeting, you can select an animated background by clicking More > Effects and Avatars > Select a background.

Video Effects.png

Learn more about this feature here.



Join public webinars with

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Surface Duo and Duo 2 get August 2023 firmware update

Fully open Surface Duo being held by its hinge in the middle

Microsoft has started rolling out a new firmware update for its Android-based Surface devices. The original Surface Duo and its second-generation sibling have received the latest Android security patches (August 2023) with nothing else in the change log.

What is new in the August 2023 firmware update for the Surface Duo Series?

Here are the official details:

Surface Duo 1 Surface Duo 2
Update Version 2022.902.48


Update Size TBD ~80MB
What is new

This update:

Addresses scenarios outlined in the Android Security Bulletin – August 2023.

Extra Information The update is available for unlocked Surface Duo devices in North America and Europe. Locked and unlocked AT&T devices will get the release later. The update does not require extra steps to perform before or after installation.
Known Bugs No known bugs in this update. However, customers continue reporting issues with NFC on the Surface Duo 2 (the original Surface Duo does not support NFC).
Device Supported Until September 10, 2023 October 21, 2024

The August 2023 firmware update is one of the last releases for the original Surface Duo. Microsoft will stop supporting the smartphone later this month, so do not expect big OS upgrades, new features, or substantial fixes. Sadly, Microsoft’s latest attempt to disrupt the mobile market with a fresh and unique device fell flat on its face. Microsoft could not provide proper support for its own mobile operating system (rest in peace, Windows Phone), and history is repeating itself with Android.

Head to Settings > System > System Update and tap “Check for update” to install the latest updates. Not that you cannot uninstall firmware updates, so it is better to back up important data before proceeding.

In case you missed it, Microsoft is holding a Surface event later this month. We expect the company

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3 Advertising & Marketing Stocks to Watch Amid Industry Woes – August 23, 2023

The rise in service activities, along with increased digital marketing services and the success of the work-from-home trend, is enabling the Zacks Advertising and Marketing industry to counter the prevailing revenue softness.

Customer-centric approaches to business, digital strategies and technology investments are helping Publicis Groupe S.A. (PUBGY Free Report) , Omnicom Group Inc. (OMC Free Report) and The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (IPG Free Report) to sail through the current testing times.

About the Industry

The Zacks Advertising and Marketing industry comprises companies that offer an extensive range of services, including advertising, branding, content marketing, digital/direct marketing, digital transformation, financial/corporate business-to-business advertising, graphic arts/digital imaging, healthcare marketing and communications, and in-store design services. Prominent players from the industry include Interpublic and Omnicom. The pandemic has changed the way industry players have conducted business and delivered services so far. Currently, the industry’s key focus is on channelizing money and efforts toward media formats and devices. To position themselves suitably in the post-pandemic era, service providers are increasing their efforts toward formulating strategic initiatives and identifying sources of demand.

What’s Shaping the Future of the Industry?

Economic Recovery: The sector is a major beneficiary of the broader economy and service activities. According to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, GDP grew at an annual rate of 2.4% in the second quarter of 2023 compared with 2% growth in the first quarter. Fed’s decision to pause interest rate hike in June after ten straight increases offered relief to the global economy. Economic activities in the non-manufacturing sector are in good shape. The Services PMI measured by the Institute for Supply Management has stayed above the 50% mark for the past seven months, indicating

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The Google Pixel Watch’s August 2023 update is now live

Google is now also publishing a security bulletin for Wear OS updates

With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series running Wear OS 4, you might have thought the next Pixel Watch update would bring the new Wear OS release to your wearable. That’s not the case, though, with Google rolling out the August 2023 security patch for its smartwatch, which is still based on Wear OS 3.5. The firmware comes alongside the latest monthly security build going live for Pixel phones with several fixes and improvements.

The RWDC.230805.001 firmware for the Pixel Watch is minor and only contains security fixes for all the discovered vulnerabilities. Like Pixel phones, Google is now publishing a monthly security bulletin for Wear OS updates. It mentions patches specifically for Wear OS, including their type, severity, and the AOSP versions they affect. So, you will now have better insight into what security issues the latest build for your Pixel Watch fixes.

Google’s August 2023 update contains patches for eight high severity vulnerabilities, with six related to the system and one each in the platform and framework. The company notes that the most severe exploit in the framework could allow for “local escalation of privilege with no additional execution privileges needed.”

The August 2023 update seems to be available widely. If the firmware is not yet available for download on your Pixel Watch, grab it from Settings > System > System updates. Then, repeatedly tap the “Your update is up to date” screen to pull the August build manually.

As for the Pixel Watch’s Wear OS 4 update, Samsung may have exclusivity over the release for the next few months. After all, the company enjoyed similar exclusive access to Wear OS 3 until the Pixel Watch’s launch in 2022. If the

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