Microsoft Details Teams Feature Roadmap

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Microsoft has boasted of an impressive rise in the number of organisations using its Teams messaging, collaboration and communications tool.

In the competition for new customers, Microsoft Teams benefits from its inclusion in business editions of Microsoft's Office 365 at no extra charge.

Microsoft Teams was officially launched in March last year as Redmond to mount a challenge to workplace communication app Slack, which has rapidly established itself as an enterprise tool in recent years.

Microsoft's Teams platform is turning one this week and with more than 200,000 organizations using the software, it's fair to say that it has been a successful first year for the product.

In addition, the company announced new enterprise voice features and hardware integration with devices including the Microsoft Surface 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. The introduction of Teams a year ago prompted fast-growing Slack to take out a full-page newspaper ad cautioning Microsoft that "all this is harder than it looks".

Finally, Microsoft will soon enable one-click cloud recording, with timecoding and automatic transcription.

One of the new features is Cortana integration. In the future, it will also include facial recognition, so remarks can be attributed to specific meeting attendees. Essentially, this will allow people who speak different languages to fluidly communicate with one another by translating posts in channels and chat.

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.

The new calling capabilities, which include consultative transfer (for getting an OK before transferring a call to somebody), call delegation, and federation, will be available in the second quarter, Wright said. This functionality will extend to IP phones and conference room devices. This includes Surface Hub, the large-screen video collaboration device for huddle spaces and other small-to-medium meeting rooms. Also coming is a Direct Routing feature which will allow users to use existing telephony infrastructures with Teams.