MS Teams ups authentication for Rooms tech


In these days of ubiquitous teleconferencing, those other kinds of digital tools accommodating physical conference room meetings are getting short shrift.

However, Microsoft is updating its Teams Rooms offerings in an interesting way as reported today at ZDNet:

“Microsoft has released the Microsoft Teams Rooms, app version, on the Microsoft Store and it will deliver new features to all Microsoft Teams Room over the next few weeks,” writes Liam Tung.

Central to this change is a company strategy of promoting a switch from basic authentication to modern authentication with OAuth 2.0.

What that means in plain English is that business users will have to implement this upgrade in order to keep MS Teams Rooms working well.

A deadline of October 13 applies for end of support for basic authentication.

The change will involve changing how people use passwords – with multifactor authentication, there will be less of a need to implement complicated logins every time you access the system.

However, some confusion will probably apply.

See this Microsoft sheet that talks about switching accounts:

“If users are working on a domain-joined computer (for example, if their tenant has enabled Kerberos), they cannot switch user accounts once they’ve completed modern authentication. If users are not working on a domain-joined computer, they can switch accounts.”

It’s easy to imagine frustrated business users trying to implement MS Teams Rooms and coming up against new authentication requirements, and having to go to the handbook to figure out what they mean.

However, as Tung points out, these technologies might not be getting a whole lot of use in the coronavirus era, as so many people are working from home.

“Conference-room products might never be needed again at some companies, like Twitter and Square, which this week gave employees the option to continue working from home permanently even after offices reopen,” Tung writes. “The two companies, run by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, aren’t alone in that thinking. A recent survey by consultancy PwC found that 49% of chief financial officers intend to make remote work a permanent option for certain roles, presumably mostly office roles where conference rooms are most commonly used.”

If you’re invested in Microsoft or Zoom (ZM) or anything related to teleconferencing, it’s worth keeping an eye on these developments to figure out how they will affect this sector of the technology market.