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Microsoft announces new calling features for Teams, such as CarPlay

Today, Microsoft is announcing a bunch of new calling features that are coming to its Teams collaboration service. It also provided some numbers, saying that Teams users made over 650 million calls in October, 11 times as many as in March.

Going forward, you'll be able to set OneDrive or SharePoint as a default location for saving call recordings, rather than Microsoft Stream. That should make it easier to share, give you more of a storage capacity, and more. There's also an improved Calling app that's meant to streamline the whole calling experience into a single location; that app will work with Apple CarPlay, another improvement that Microsoft touted today.

If you're not a fan of spam, well, you're like everyone else. Spam identification is coming, and Teams will also attest outgoing calls so they don't get rejected as spam. There's also automatic reverse number look-up, so you'll see the name of who's calling you.

Along the lines of call management, you'll soon be able to switch between mobile and desktop. It should make general mobility a lot easier, where you can answer a call from your phone while you're driving, and switch to your desktop when you arrive at your office. This feature is coming in early 2021, along with a new low-data mode that will let you set bandwidth limits. Call merge will also be helpful for call management, letting you combine calls.

Microsoft also announced some new advanced calling features, such as a new Survivable Branch Appliance that can keep calls going even if there's a network outage. There are also new collaborative calling capabilities like putting call queues into a channel, so you can collaborate before and after the call. The firm is also making sure that when you transfer a call, the caller won't get disconnected if no one is available on the other end.

Finally, there are some new devices on the way. These include phones with hardware buttons, more Teams displays, and more. You'll also be able to get them through a device as a service plan, which is available now.

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