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Microsoft Teams will soon let you combine both your accounts so there's no escape

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Switching between personal and workplace Microsoft Teams accounts could soon be a thing of the past thanks to a new update to the service.

The video conferencing platform is rolling out changes that will allow users to combine business and consumer Teams accounts, hopefully putting an end to any unfortunate confusion.

Microsoft says the change will allow for much improved communication for Teams users across the world, even opening the door for personal chats whilst on a work network.

Combined Microsoft Teams

"With this update Teams users in your organization will be able to start a 1:1 or a group chat with Teams users who are using their personal accounts and vice-versa," Microsoft noted in an updated message center notification.

The feature was first announced by Microsoft back in February 2021, but has now entered the rolling out period, meaning users will be able to access it soon. 

"Teams users will be able to chat with team members who are outside their work network and have a Teams personal account," the official Microsoft 365 roadmap entry for the update added. 

"This is expanding on external access capabilities, enabling Teams users to invite for a 1:1 or group chat any other federated Teams users using an email address or phone number and remain within the security and compliance policies of their organization."

The update is coming to all Microsoft Teams desktop users around the world, so be sure to keep your program updated to the latest release.

The change is the latest in a series of Microsoft Teams updates as the firm looks to continue helping companies around the world adapt to the new age of hybrid working.

Along with video capabilities, Microsoft Teams also added chat bubbles to its online collaboration tool last year, meaning that users shouldn't miss private messages sent during a video call. Microsoft has also added this feature to group chats so that everyone can keep up with the conversations happening via text as well as those taking place in a video call at the same time, allowing everyone to view chats sent during a meeting on the front of room display in a Teams Room.

Date

13 Jan 2022

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  • Graphics card prices are still falling – Huzzah!

    Many of the popular graphics cards on the market have started to become more affordable in recent weeks, and while we've been anxiously expecting them to rise again at any moment, the downwards trend is continuing into March.

    Toms Hardware has tracked GPU prices on eBay across the last two generations of both Nvidia and AMD and found that every single model fell in price again in the first two weeks of March, compared to the entire month of February. It noted that while it typically tracks GPU prices month-by-month, the current crash has spurred more frequent updates.

    While some cards like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super only declined by 1.6%, others saw a much larger drop, such as the Radeon RX 5500 XT which fell by 20.2%. Most of the current generation of GPUs fell by between 6% - 12% in the last two weeks, which includes the likes of the Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti and the Radeon RX 6700 XT.

    The below chart logs the prices for the current generation of Nvidia and AMD graphics cards, but you can find the full list over on the Tom's Hardware report.

    GPU Prices on eBay, Mid-March vs. February, 2022
    GPU Avg eBay Price %Change vs. February
    GeForce RTX 3090 $2,126 -9.2%
    GeForce RTX 3080 Ti $1,579 -8.2%
    GeForce RTX 3080 12GB $1,425 -7.9%
    GeForce RTX 3080 $1,323 -8.1%
    GeForce RTX 3070 Ti $919 -8.2%
    GeForce RTX 3070 $887 -10.2%
    GeForce RTX 3060 Ti $781 -7.8%
    GeForce RTX 3060 12GB $610 -4.2%
    GeForce RTX 3050 $427 -6.1%
    Radeon RX 6900 XT $1,324 -6.9%
    Radeon RX 6800 XT $1,064 -9.6%
    Radeon RX 6800 $960 -7.0%
    Radeon RX 6700 XT $687 -12.2%
    Radeon RX 6600 XT $510 -10.2%
    Radeon RX 6600 $435 -6.0%
    Radeon RX 6500 XT $250 -8.2%

    The fall in pricing also isn't limited to the US, as according to a report compiled by 3DCenter, AMD graphics cards (RX 6000 models) are currently 35% above their MSRP, and Nvidia GPUs (RTX 3000 cards) are 41% higher than their recommended price. This sounds like bad news until you realize that it's actually a significant improvement to how prices were looking this time last year where some Nvidia GPUs were over twice their MSRP.

    Tom's Guide also points out that eBay isn't the only indicator, just in case you want to avoid buying second-hand. Large retailers such as Newegg are selling these graphics cards at a similarly reduced price in line with the general market decline, so outside of its release window, there's never been a better time to try and grab yourself an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080...unless you want to play the waiting game to see if prices drop even further.

    We track cheap GPU deals each month so if you want to take most of the boring work out of hunting for a new graphics card, check out our guide and put your feet up. Otherwise, we would always suggest sticking to buying new hardware over something used unless you can accept the risk that it won't work, so retailers like Newegg and Amazon will be your best place to scour for a bargain.


    Analysis: It's a way to go yet, but remain optimistic

    While GPUs remain expensive, these pricing declines do correlate with predictions from huge brands like Intel and Nvidia that component shortages would be expected to ease in the second half of 2022. This was the single biggest issue affecting low supply and high demand (which many scalpers took advantage of) so we should start to see GPU supplies increase as pricing falls. 

    It's likely that a few other situations have also helped to ease prices, such as declining efficiency in Ethereum cryptocurrency mining. This was never going to be a swift recovery for the graphics card market, so it's likely we will be living with inflated prices for some time, but the steady decline is nothing but good news. 

    Still, don't fall into the trap of thinking this is over. One small change to the supply chain could undo all this work, as could any issues with production as we saw with the chip shortage. Still, it does act as a useful indicator of how the market may be heading, especially as eBay list prices for Nvidia RTX GPUs in the US have fallen for four months in a row.

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