March 23, 2018

Microsoft Touts Progress Of Chat App Teams In Battle With Slack

13 March 2018, 04:06 | Ross Houston

Credit Microsoft

Credit Microsoft

The introduction of Teams a year ago prompted fast-growing Slack to take out a full-page newspaper ad cautioning Microsoft that "all this is harder than it looks". Additionally, she said, almost 70% of Skype for Business enterprise customers have begun using Teams.

To soften the blow, Microsoft has announced some new Teams features to arrive at some undefined point in the future, possibly the second quarter of 2018.

First off is cloud recording, which will provide "one-click meeting recordings with automatic transcription and timecoding, enabling all team members the ability to read captions, search within the conversation, and playback all or part of the meeting". People can have their messages translated immediately.

Microsoft says that the Cortana integration will work not just in the native interface but also with compatible devices such as conference phones.

Background blur on video-The ability to blur your background during video calls will allow other meeting attendees to focus on you, not what's behind you.

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The first capability is an integration with the company's Cortana virtual assistant that will allow workers to use spoken commands in Microsoft Teams.

Proximity detection for Teams Meetings-This feature will make it easy for you to discover and add a nearby and available Skype Room System to any meeting. This includes Surface Hub, the large-screen video collaboration device for huddle spaces and other small-to-medium meeting rooms.

Let us not forget why Microsoft made a decision to build out Teams, it was because of the success of Slack which makes you wonder if buying the competing software would have been a better move?

Microsoft didn't give specific dates for the new tools, saying only they would be coming later this year. Direct Routing will be joining Calling Plans as one of the options for Calling in Microsoft Teams and in addition they are planning to bring consultative transfer and call delegation and federation. "Built on the strength and scale of Office 365 with over 120 million users, Teams delivers chat-based collaboration, meetings, calling, and soon, full enterprise voice features". You can hear more about these features during Enterprise Connect this week on Wednesday, March 14.

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