Microsoft announces several new AI features for Teams

Microsoft Details Teams Feature Roadmap

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) says 200K organizations now use its Teams, a Slack alternative, up from 125K in September. ConocoPhillips, General Motors, Macys, NASCAR, and Technicolor are among the 200,000 organizations using Teams today, said Lori Wright, Microsoft's GM of Teams and Skype for Business, in a No Jitter briefing. It is created to work with Windows 10 Ink as well, and allows users to collaborate more effectively in meetings including interacting with other teams using a Surface Hub remotely. Microsoft highlighted that Plantronics is making desk phones that can tap into Microsoft Teams to make voice calls.

Microsoft is also adding a number of new features during the year.

Eventually, it will be possible to shunt recordings of meetings into Microsoft's cloud along with automatic timecoded transcriptions and inline message translation.

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?

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Teams also now has an app ecosystem that continues to grow and includes the likes of Adobe, Trello, Zoom.ai, and many others who are turning Teams from a simple collaboration tool to an entire productivity application. It'll also let you share a live video stream, photos or screens from your smartphone. Microsoft said it would include facial recognition in the future, so particular remarks can be attributed to the right person. The ability to use Slack as an full in-house meeting system, even if participants don't have access to a computer or internet, will no doubt make it a lot more useful for companies.

The cloud meeting recordings capability will be available this summer, with the other features and functionalities to follow later this year, Wright said.

Whether a customer chooses to use the Microsoft Calling Plan or Direct Routing will come down to pricing considerations and existing relationships, she added.

Additionally, Microsoft is now working with more OEMs (like Lenovo and HP) and partners (like Logitech, Crestron, and Polycom) to make sure Teams is enabled on more calling and meeting room devices.

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