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Microsoft Celebrates 3 Years of Teams With Enhancements

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A Microsoft phone and laptop
Image: Daniel Krasoń -

Microsoft is blowing out the birthday candles for its team collaboration platform, Teams, and its users are getting the presents —  new capabilities, integrations, and offerings.

With this week’s announcement, Microsoft is building on top of “the strong foundation it set in place in 2019,” as Kevin Kieller, co-founder of enableUC, wrote in a recent “Taming Teams” post on No Jitter. Following this announcement, he shared: “The third-anniversary edition of Teams promises lots of behind-the-scenes optimization to improve performance, even on poor networks (even supporting disconnected use), and new AI features that suppress unwanted ‘work from home’ noises.”
In addition, the Teams frontline worker storyline is getting a boost with “feature-rich support,” and new Teams-certified devices will allow for more customizable meeting rooms, Kieller said.
Specifically, new Teams capabilities are
  • Real-time noise suppression, for blocking out background noise like the sound of typing
  • A raise hand feature, to let people in the meeting know when another participant has something to say
  • The Bookings app will allow providers to schedule, manage, and conducting virtual appointments
  • Pop out Teams chat windows, to allow users to move between conversations easier
  • Offline and low-bandwidth support, allowing users to read and respond to chat messages without an Internet connection
These capabilities will be available at an undesignated time later this year.
Microsoft also announced integrations, Teams certifications, a Teams phone offerings, and a new licensing option. The Teams-certified device ecosystem now includes Yealink’s VC210 video collaboration bar and the Bose 700 UC noise cancelling headphones
  • An integration with RealWear head-mounted devices will allow firstline workers across verticals to communicate and collaborate hands-free using Teams
  • Microsoft 365 Business Voice, giving small and midsized businesses the ability to turn Teams into a complete phone system
  • Microsoft 365 Enterprise licensing plan that includes additional options for firstline workers
In its three years, Microsoft has reported that Teams “has gone from zero to 44 million daily users,” added and enhanced many features, and built out a “robust device and application ecosystem,” Kieller said. How Teams will look in another three years is anyone’s guess, but these enhancements and offerings should be a taste of what’s to come — an emphasis on frontline workers and an enhanced user experience for all.