Microsoft’s Slack competitor, Microsoft Teams, is turning a year old this week and to celebrate the company is unveiling some new features today. Perhaps the most interesting are Cortana integration and inline message translation. Cortana integration is coming to Microsoft Teams soon, with support for voice interactions through Team-enabled devices like IP phones and conference room devices.
Message translation will allow Microsoft Teams participants to automatically translate messages in channels and chat messages. That’s a particularly useful addition if you’re working with remote teams that communicate in a variety of languages. Alongside Cortana and translation, Microsoft is also adding cloud recording for meetings with automatic transcription and timecoding, background blur on video, mobile sharing for meetings, and the ability to find and add Skype Room Systems into any meetings.
Microsoft is also revealing some new Microsoft Teams stats today. 200,000 businesses in 181 countries are now using Microsoft Teams, including new customers like NASCAR, General Motors, and Technicolor. At launch Microsoft Teams had around 50,000 businesses using the service, so it appears to be growing well as it attempts to rival Slack’s 6 million daily users. Microsoft is also expected to be introducing a free version of Microsoft Teams soon, and the company is working on integrating its service into the Surface Hub conferencing displays.