Microsoft Touts Progress Of Teams Chat App

Pat Wise
March 12, 2018

Teams, which began rolling out to Office 365 subscribers past year, is Microsoft's answer to the Slack messaging platform.

Microsoft Teams is now being used by 200,000 organizations in 181 markets around the world, up four-fold since the tech giant's workplace chat and collaboration technology launched one year ago this week, according to new statistics released by the Redmond company this morning.

In addition, the company announced new enterprise voice features and hardware integration with devices including the Microsoft Surface Hub.

Teams is Microsoft's challenger to Slack and other collaboration tools from tech rivals including Facebook, Amazon and Google. The company has been steadily growing the capabilities offered with the app, and this week it's introducing another series of enhancements aimed at fortifying its message that Teams will ultimately be the end-all, be-all intelligent enterprise communications and collaboration hub.

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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) says 200K organizations now use its Teams, a Slack alternative, up from 125K in September.

Finally, Microsoft will soon enable one-click cloud recording, with timecoding and automatic transcription. In the future, it will also include facial recognition, so remarks can be attributed to specific meeting attendees. If participants that speak different languages join in, Teams will support in-line message translation to let them "fluidly communicate with one another by translating posts in channels and chat". This functionality will extend to IP phones and conference room devices. It'll also let you share a live video stream, photos or screens from your smartphone. The company shared today Teams will pick up consultative transfer and call delegation and federation features.

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.

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