Microsoft's Slack rival gets translation and Surface Hub compatibility

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) says 200K organizations now use its Teams, a Slack alternative, up from 125K in September. Microsoft also announced several new AI-powered features for Teams that are not available on any of its main competitors.

Microsoft Office vice president Kirk Koenigsbauer launches Microsoft Teams one year ago this week on the company's Redmond campus.

One year in, 200,000 organizations are using Microsoft Teams, the company's workplace collaboration tool and its answer to the popular chat software startup Slack.

Microsoft this morning cited companies including General Motors, ConocoPhillips, NASCAR, Technicolor, RLH Corporation and A.P. Moller as Teams customers. 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. The enterprise calling features are set to arrive in Q2 of 2018, and the other features, like Cloud Recording and in-line translation, will arrive later in the year. With that so, Microsoft is also looking to advance the features of Teams.

One of the new features is Cortana integration. Cortana integration is coming to Microsoft Teams soon, with support for voice interactions through Team-enabled devices like IP phones and conference room devices.

Cloud recording-Will provide one-click meeting recordings with automatic transcription and timecoding, enabling all team members the ability to read captions, search within the conversation, and playback all or part of the meeting.

Microsoft's AI has also made it easier to initiate and participate in Teams chats.

Video call participants will be able to blur the background on their calls, so the person you're talking to won't be able to see what's behind you.

Whether a customer chooses to use the Microsoft Calling Plan or Direct Routing will come down to pricing considerations and existing relationships, she added. The last addition is mobile sharing in meetings, so meeting attendees can share a live video stream, photos, or the screen from their mobile device.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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