Microsoft is set to introduce several noteworthy features to its widely used collaboration platform, Teams, in January. With over 320 million monthly users, the company aims to enhance user experience by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to filter voices during calls and intelligently manage virtual backgrounds. Additionally, the article unveils Microsoft Mesh, initially introduced as the VR metaverse in March 2021, evolving into a more immersive experience within Teams.
AI Enhancements in Teams:
Microsoft acknowledges the significance of its 320 million Teams users and introduces two innovative features. Firstly, AI will be employed to filter voices during Teams calls, allowing for enhanced clarity and focus. Secondly, AI will play a role in optimizing virtual backgrounds, transforming the user’s environment by eliminating clutter, thereby improving the overall meeting experience.
Microsoft Mesh: The Evolution of the Metaverse:
Originally presented as the VR metaverse in 2021, Microsoft Mesh is now making its debut within Teams at Ignite 2023. Despite the departure of technical fellow Alex Kipman and shifts in Microsoft’s VR strategies, the company remains committed to Mesh. Teams will incorporate immersive spaces, turning conventional 2D meetings into 3D environments with custom avatars, seat assignments, and spatial zones for private conversations. These features will be part of Teams Premium subscription, set to launch in January.
Teams Improvements and Practical Enhancements:
Microsoft is introducing various improvements to the Teams platform to further enhance user experience. The new Teams Web experience promises up to two times faster performance and a 50 percent reduction in memory usage, available on Edge and Chrome. New keyboard shortcuts, including setting status to “Do not disturb” and quickly replying to messages, aim to streamline user interactions. In January, users will have the option to forward messages in Teams chats, making communication more flexible.
Code Blocks and Notifications:
For those working with code, Teams will introduce better code blocks, allowing users to choose syntax or use markdown, starting in January. Simplified notifications will enable users to clear notifications with a single click in activity, chat, and channels. Teams notification settings can be customized to suit individual preferences, offering a more personalized experience.
Teams Phone Privacy and Voicemail Features:
Addressing the needs of executives, Teams is introducing a private, secondary number with a distinct ringtone to ensure confidential direct calls. This feature enables executives to maintain privacy during calls without their assistants listening in. Additionally, Teams is enhancing security with protected voicemail and notifications for messages containing sensitive information.
Microsoft’s continuous evolution of Teams reflects a commitment to providing cutting-edge collaboration tools for its vast user base. The integration of AI-driven features, the introduction of Microsoft Mesh, and practical enhancements demonstrate the company’s dedication to staying at the forefront of workplace communication and collaboration. As users anticipate the January rollout, Microsoft Teams is poised to offer a more immersive, efficient, and secure collaborative experience.