Software maker Microsoft has disclosed that its workplace collaboration application Teams which was launched about a year ago is now being used by around 200, 000 organizations. Last year in September the number of organizations using the application was 125,000 while during its launch there were about 50,000 businesses that had signed up to use Teams. This is an indication that the Redmond, Washington-based software maker is making progress as it competes with Slack.
The largest software maker in the world has also disclosed that new features will be introduced to Teams and this includes instant language translation as well as integration with Cortana. With regards to Cortana integration support will be provided for voice interactions via devices which work with Teams and this includes IP phones and other conference room gadgets. Users of Microsoft Teams will also be able to conduct an automatic translation of messages contained in chats and channels. This will be especially useful for cross-cultural and multilingual teams.
Besides translation and Cortana integration cloud recording during meetings will also be added to Microsoft Teams. There will also be background blurring of videos, automatic timecoding and transcription. Mobile sharing will also be possible for meetings and users will additionally be given the ability to locate as well as add into any meetings Skype Room Systems.
Teams was launched by Microsoft as a response to the emergence of Slack which was seen as a threat to the dominance of the Redmond, Washington-based software in the office productivity software business. Microsoft now bundles Teams alongside Office 365 amidst heightened competition not just from Slack but also from Facebook, Cisco Systems, Atlassian Corp, and Google.
‘The new inbox’
“These group messaging tools go far beyond just chat and are becoming a central hub for integrating a variety of business applications into a single user interface. They are essentially the new inbox,” an analyst at Constellation Research, Alan Lepofsky, said.
According to a former executive at Microsoft, the decision to turn Teams into a viable competitor was made after the realization that big clients of the software maker were adopting Slack. Last year in September Slack disclosed that its number of daily users had reached six million. The number of paying teams at the time was 50,000.
One area that Slack has an advantage over teams is third-party applications – it has over 1,000