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Microsoft Teams displays get replaceable backgrounds, Cortana web searches

Lenovo ThinkSmart View showing a Teams meeting with four people

Microsoft has announced a handful of new capabilities for Teams displays as part of the March 2021 update. Teams displays like the Lenovo ThinkSmart View seen above are smart displays that run Teams as an operating system, allowing users to make calls and join meetings on the service.

First off, Cortana is getting more useful during Teams meetings, and it can now search the web for you. You can ask it questions about the time, weather, and so on, so you can quickly share that information with other people on a meeting. On that note, Cortana support is coming to Teams displays in Canada, Australia, the UK, and India, as long as you're using the display in English. That includes support for the aforementioned Bing searches, too.

Another notable addition is replaceable backgrounds, a feature that's already been available on Teams for desktop PCs since 2019. Now, Teams displays can blur or completely replace the background of a video feed with a selection of included images. Microsoft is also adding support for live reactions in meetings, so you can send things such as a clapping emoji or a heart in response to what other people said.

Finally, Microsoft is adding AI-based quick responses. When you get a message in a chat, the Teams display will suggest a response based on what the other person said, so you can just tap the option you want instead of typing it out.

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