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Microsoft Teams adds Cortana in a raft of anniversary upgrades

IT’S HARD to care believe it but Microsoft Teams, that thing in Office 365 you’d already forgotten about, is one today (actually its even older, but today’s the day it came out of beta).

Yes, the Slack competitor has been with us for 365 goes round the sun, and to celebrate, it’s getting Cortana integration. Try to contain your excitement.

First, some stats.

“Today, 200,000 organizations in 181 markets and 39 languages use Teams, including A.P. Moller-Maersk, ConocoPhillips, Macy’s, NASCAR, Navistar, RLH Corporation, and Technicolor. General Motors is also now using Teams,” boasted Microsoft.

Well, jolly dee, we’d better get on with these new features in that case.

There’ll be cloud recording with ‘automatic transcription and time-coding’ which will later attribute facial recognition to attribute mugshots to lines of dialogue. Hold us. We’re scared.

Inline message translation will allow you to chat seamlessly with someone in a completely different language in real time.

As mentioned, Cortana will be added to help you make, join meetings and add others in natural language – over traditional phones, VOIP and conference room devices.

There’s going to be a background blur option which is really depressing news for fans of Professor Robert Kelly.

Adding Skype rooms to any meeting will be possible just by proximity, and adding info from mobile devices will be added too.

Teams has come a long way in the last year and although it has a way to go to catch up with the runaway success of Slack, it feels like a more blue chip product.

Meeting room systems from Lenovo and HP are being added to those from Logitech, Creston and Polycon and Microsoft Surface Hub will embed Teams from the outset.

New bridges for telecoms from BlueJeans, Pexip and Polycom and new desk phones from AudioCodes and Yealink are being added to the compatibility list and new phone stations from Plantronics are also coming aboard.

Skype for Business users seem to have taken Teams to their hearts with 70 per cent of subscribers also using Teams. Ruddy good job as Microsoft Teams will eventually take over from Skype for Business. µ 

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