Sci-tech

Cortana integration and more are coming to Microsoft Teams this year

Cortana integration and more are coming to Microsoft Teams this year”

To celebrate the moment, Microsoft today detailed some important milestones and the future AI-inspired features planned for the chat-based collaboration tool.

That's up from 125,000 in September, when Microsoft announced Teams would replace Skype for Business in the Office 365 bundle. Microsoft has now announced that Teams is now being used by over 200,000 organizations around the world including GM, A.P. Moller-Maersk, ConocoPhillips, Macy's, NASCAR, Navistar, RLH Corporation, and Technicolor. See more on these features below.

This feature will also be advanced in the future to include facial recognition, so meeting remarks can be properly attributed. Top of the list is Cortana voice interactions, which enable you to make a call, join a meeting, or invite someone to a meeting using your voice.

Microsoft Teams is the company's answer to growing chat startup Slack. Alongside Cortana and translation, Microsoft is also adding cloud recording for meetings with automatic transcription and timecoding, background blur on video, mobile sharing for meetings, and the ability to find and add Skype Room Systems into any meetings.

Beyond the Surface Hub and internal devices, the Teams hardware ecosystem now also includes meeting room systems from HP and Lenovo; new desk phones from AudioCodes and Yealink; new conference room phones from Creston, Polycom, and Yealink; and new mobile phone stations from Plantronics. 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). Meanwhile, companies - including Microsoft - have been working to make their applications and services work well with voice assistants given the potential of voice computing in the workplace.

The new calling capabilities, which include consultative transfer (for getting an OK before transferring a call to somebody), call delegation, and federation, will be available in the second quarter, Wright said. Also coming is a Direct Routing feature which will allow users to use existing telephony infrastructures with Teams.

This feature alone could be a big selling point for Microsoft Teams, but it's one of several the company announced are in the works.

Participants in a meeting will be able to share "a live video stream, photos, or their screen" from their smartphone. You can hear more about these features during Enterprise Connect this week on Wednesday, March 14.



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