Microsoft Front Row — what is it and how is it revolutionizing the conference room?

Jimmy Vaughan
4 min readDec 5, 2021

So, I think the first thing that is needed here is a definition of what exactly Microsoft Front Row when it relates to Microsoft Teams Rooms really is.

What is Front row?

I have heard many people (internal to Microsoft and external) both confused and even explaining the term as something that is not. So, let’s start with what this is and then we can move onto some of the components that surround the Front Row experience.

Front Row is a layout at its core. It will have fluid components like you see in the picture above which will include components such as chat, action items or others that many use in Microsoft Teams on their desktop or mobile devices. It will also have a place for the gallery of people and a place for content. That is an important distinction as the room that you see above, uses the Front Row layout as its front of room screen output, but the room itself is not something that is defined as Front Row.

You might have also seen the images like the one above of a room that was actually built at Microsoft headquarters and again uses the Front Row layout and thought “oh this is Front Row”, but that again is not the proper way to define Front Row. This room just uses the layout at the front of the room and then encompasses other items such as Intelligent camera and Spacial audio as well as other components like Surface hub and ceiling microphones and speakers. While those are some features that can be used to enhance the Front Row experience, they should not be thought of as something exclusive to Front Row as those components can be used in all Microsoft Teams Rooms regardless of the front of room layout that is chosen.

You can find some of the guidance and the science behind why this kind of room is effective in a report released from Microsoft found here.

If you or your customers are looking for guidance on how to build one of these panoramic rooms, there is preliminary guidance found here around what is termed as a panoramic room.

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Jimmy Vaughan

With over 20 years of experience in AV and IT roles for a well diverse combination of employers, I have a specialty in devices and solutions for meeting spaces.