Microsoft adds voice interactions, transcription and translation to Teams collaboration mix

Microsoft is adding a variety of capabilities to its Teams product including Cortana voice interactions, message translations, and cloud-based recording and transcription.

The updates come as Microsoft Teams reaches its first birthday. Microsoft had previously issued features for Teams in January around shortcuts, mentions and search. These updates, however, are focused on more ambitious goals.

Cloud recording will enable participants to record meetings with one click, as well as offer automatic transcription and timecoding. Written posts will be able to be translated, while Cortana will enable users to join meetings, add others to a meeting, or make calls using spoken natural language.

Other features include being able to blur background images during video calls, discovering and adding nearby and available Skype Room Systems to any meeting, and enhanced mobile sharing during meetings.

It is certainly a step up from November 2016 – this anniversary marks the first year since Teams was rolled out globally to Office 365 subscribers – when Slack was compelled to take a full-page advert spread in the New York Times warning of Microsoft’s approach. At the time, Microsoft said Teams enabled Office 365 to ‘accommodate all workstyles’ with the product being used by 50,000 organisations at general availability.

Today, Teams now integrates with a variety of app partners, including Adobe Creative Cloud, Hootsuite and Trello, and is being used by 200,000 organisations, including General Motors, NASCAR, and A.P. Moller – Maersk.

“As we celebrate our first year in market, we are thankful to our customers, partners, and of course those of you who have become avid Teams users for coming on this journey with us,” a Microsoft Teams blog post explained. “We look forward to continuing to bring you experiences that enable your teams to achieve more together.”

You can read the full update here.

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