This week marks a year since Microsoft Teams launched out of preview, and Microsoft is marking the occasion with a peek at some the new features it currently has in the pipeline for the Slack competitor.
The most notable of these new features is support for Cortana voice interactions on Teams devices, but a number of other handy additions, like in-line message translation and cloud recording, are on the way as well. Here's a look at what to expect later in 2019:
- Cloud recording, providing 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;
- In-line message translation, enabling people who speak different languages to fluidly communicate with one another by translating posts in channels and chat;
- Cortana voice interactions for Teams-enabled devices, including IP phones and conference room devices, enabling you to easily make a call, join a meeting or add other people to a meeting in Teams using spoken natural language;
- Background blur on video, providing the ability to blur your background during video calls so other meeting attendees can focus on you, not what's behind you;
- Proximity detection for Teams Meetings, making it easy for you to discover and add a nearby and available Skype Room System to any meeting
- Mobile sharing in meetings, enabling attendees to share a live video stream, photos, or the screen from their mobile device
Additionally, Microsoft revealed some call-related features estimated to hit Teams in Q2 of 2018. These include consultative transfer, along with call delegation and federation. Direct routing is on the way as well, which will let organizations use existing telephony infrastructure with calling in Teams. These calling features come as Microsoft continues to move Skype for Business users over to Teams.
Finally, Microsoft offered up some stats on Teams' progress in its year since launch. The service is now used by 200,000 organizations spread across 181 markets and 39 languages, the company says. Among those 200,000 users, Microsoft says three million teams have been created and nearly 60 percent of Teams users are outside of the U.S.