Microsoft launches new features for Teams including shortcuts and searches

Microsoft has launched a series of new features for Teams, its Slack-targeting collaboration tool, including shortcuts, @mentions, and a new search function.

The move represents the largest feature release for Teams since its rollout to Office 365 customers in March.

Users can now include information from apps in conversations, including project management tools Trello and Wrike, as well as access a personal view of apps.

Other features include integration with different Microsoft services. A feature called Who, which enables users to search for other people by name or topic, is powered by Microsoft Graph, the developer platform which connects multiple services and devices.

Greater productivity is also noted with the introduction of shortcuts. Users can utilise slash commands to call a co-worker, add a user to a team, or set status to ‘away’. Microsoft said the new features ‘make it an even more powerful hub for teamwork by enabling you to use apps in new ways.’

This move will – and has been in the tech press – be compared to the moves Slack is making. Earlier this month, Natalie Lambert, VP marketing at Sapho, noted the $5.1 billion valuation of Slack as a key collaboration trend of last year. Some of the new Teams features are similar to Slack, such as searching for apps, while some, like the slash commands, bear more familiarity. Slack offers slash commands, albeit for interacting with apps directly.

Slack’s “facilitation of collaboration, integration of multiple communications channels, and simple, consumer-like interface are just a few of the many features employees look for in their workplace software,” wrote Lambert.

You can find out more about the Teams update here.

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