Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Technology | By Christopher Mann

Microsoft announces several new AI features for Teams

Microsoft announces several new AI features for Teams

The number was disclosed while announcing new Teams features including instant language translation and Cortana integration.

Unlike Slack, Teams unsurprisingly does not seek to dispense with corporate email, opting to integrate messaging with office apps (such as Outlook) as a collaborative tool.

Adds host of new features, including direct routing to SIP trunks, and expanded hardware support.

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Microsoft's Teams platform is turning one this week and with more than 200,000 organizations using the software, it's fair to say that it has been a successful first year for the product.

That's up from 125,000 in September, when Microsoft announced Teams would replace Skype for Business in the Office 365 bundle. 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 numbers sound good, of course, but Wright declined specifying the number of users or discussing how widespread usage might be within those organizations.

The latest enhancements break down along the lines of features and functionality, calling, and device support, Wright said. Video callers will be able to blur their backgrounds so their conversation mate's eyes are drawn only to them (or if they don't want people to know they're making the call from their couch). The enterprise calling features are set to arrive in Q2 of 2018, and the other features, like Cloud Recording and in-line translation, will arrive later in the year. The company shared today Teams will pick up consultative transfer and call delegation and federation features.

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And despite market concern at Cortana's future, Microsoft said it will add Cortana voice interactions for Teams-enabled devices.

Mobile sharing in meetings, enabling attendees to share a live video stream, photos, or the screen from their mobile device.

To drive adoption among the enterprise, Microsoft is working with OEMs including Lenovo and HP to make video conferencing meeting-room systems powered by Microsoft Teams. In addition, Microsoft is certifying interoperability between Teams and existing BlueJeans Network, Pexip, and Polycom hardware solutions.

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