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Microsoft Teams Adds New Features As Usage Surges

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Microsoft Teams has added new features to aid in working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, as daily usage skyrockets and the app celebrates its third anniversary.

Businesses and organisations around the world have shifted their operations to remote work through Teams as the coronavirus necessitates social distancing measures. According to Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365, Teams daily users have grown by 12 million to 44 million in just the past week, with more than 900 million minutes of meetings and calling per day over the same period.

“We believe that this sudden, globe-spanning move to remote work will be a turning point in how we work and learn. Already, we are seeing how solutions that enable remote work and learning across chat, video, and file collaboration have become central to the way we work,” he said.

A range of new features will be added to Teams this year to aid in videoconferencing and remote collaboration. Among them are real-time noise suppression to minimize distracting background noise during calls; a Raise Hand feature to send a visual signal that participants in large meetings have something to say; a Bookings app for managing virtual appointments; the ability to pop out chats into separate windows; and support for offline and low-bandwidth, which will allow users to access and respond to chat messages without an internet connection.

Mr Spataro said Microsoft aims to continue to build Teams’ capability to support working from home.

“It’s very clear that enabling remote work is more important than ever, and that it will continue to have lasting value beyond the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We are committed to building the tools that help organisations, teams, and individuals stay productive and connected even when they need to work apart,” he said.

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