[Updated] Microsoft Teams Will Make Group Video Calls Less Painful

Four people speak in a Microsoft Teams window.

Today, people from all over the world are working for the first time at home. This is evident from the skyrocketing usage figures of the team. The service has grown from 13 million daily active users (DAU) last July to 32 million DAU last week to 44 million DAU now. In the middle of it all, the service adds features that could make your next virtual conference call more bearable.

Update, 04/09/2020: Microsoft announces custom backgrounds, ends meetings, and participates in reports are available now. Raise your hand is rolling out this month and noise canceling will be rolled out later this year.

Most of the new features announced by the teams revolve around group calls, but there is one exception. The teams will soon have an offline mode. In offline mode, you can read all messages (presumably passed before the connection was lost) and write messages to send as soon as you have access to the service.

But the group calling features are the ones you don’t just want, you need. The first is noise suppression. It seems that during each group call, there is always someone who does not know how to mute the sound by eating fries or rummaging through the kitchen. Noise cancellation will try to filter out these sounds so you can focus on the voices.

And if you’ve always wanted to say something, but just can’t find an opening to talk (because Jim won’t stop talking, again), the new dunning feature is for you. Click the raise hand button to let everyone know that you have something to say.

Meeting organizers also have new options: end the meeting and participate in reports. The end of the meeting interrupts the call for everyone at once and the attendance reports give the organizer a list of the people who have joined the meeting.

Teams also adds a new chat feature to help you organize your conversations. And, just like Zoom, teams will have a custom background option to hide your dirty desk.

We don’t know when these new features will be rolled out, but we do know at least part of the answer for Teams users – not soon enough.

via The edge

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