Microsoft Teams Turns 3 as Work From Home Ramps Up

Anniversary features can only help the platform gain more users

Why This Matters

Working from home is the new normal for a while for millions of office workers, at least. Microsoft Teams (and competing products like Slack) will need to keep improving to keep users engaged and productive.

Microsoft Teams video interface
Microsoft 

Microsoft announced its three-year anniversary with some new features, bigger numbers of active users, and a quick chat about the current COVID-19 crisis.

Context: More and more people are working from home (Microsoft's Puget Sound workforce of 50,000 and tens of thousands of global employees are all remote workers now) due to the pandemic COVID-19 crisis.

What they said: "We have seen an unprecedented spike in Teams usage," writes Microsoft in a blog post, "and now have more than 44 million daily users, a figure that has grown by 12 million in just the last seven days. And those users have generated over 900 million meeting and calling minutes on Teams each day this week."

By the Numbers

  • Fortune 100 companies that use Teams: 93
  • Organizations using Teams with more than 10K users: 650+
  • Markets served: 181
  • Languages supported: 53

What's new? Teams has added some new features to its system, including real-time noise suppression to keep extraneous noise like keyboard tapping or sirens out of your meeting, a "raise hand" option to let people know you have something to say, and pop-out chats for multiple conversations.

Teams now has offline and low-bandwidth support for home-based workers, so you can work even if your internet gets choppy or—gasp—disappears altogether for a while.

The company also announced new integrations with connected, head-mounted devices for industrial workers. Imagine a hard hat with a headset and camera attached and you've got the idea. Plus, Teams can now use Microsoft 365 Business Voice (US-only) to turn it into a complete phone system.

When: All the new capabilities and features, Microsoft says, will come online later this year.

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