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Microsoft Teams now has over 320 million monthly active users and over 2,000 apps

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It's been a huge 2023 for Microsoft Teams, in more ways than one. Microsoft launched the new Teams apps for Windows and Mac in October, offering users better overall performance compared to the older "classic" Teams app, which will be retired after June 30, 2024.

Today, via a blog post, Microsoft announced that Teams is now being used by over 320 million active monthly users worldwide. The blog added that "tens of millions more people adopted Teams this year" although a specific number was not announced. In addition, the blog post stated that over 2,000 apps are now available to download from the Teams store along with "over 145,000 custom line-of-business (LOB) apps built by enterprises."

Going forward, Teams and Microsoft 365 will support the use of Microsoft's Copilot generative AI assistant, which became generally available on November 1. The blog post says that enterprise users can extend the use of Copilot in Teams through the use of plugins. The blog post states:

A powerful way to create a plugin is to use Teams message extensions, which can retrieve external data, analyze and summarize information, and allow users to take actions via Adaptive Cards in Teams. Developers can now create message extensions using Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code. For existing message extensions, make sure app manifests are updated.

The use of Microsoft Graph connectors can also be used to extend the use of Copilot, Microsoft says that in the spring of 2024, Lucidspark's virtual whiteboards and Lucidchart's intelligent diagramming will use Microsoft Graph connectors. The blog post states:

Information such as the content of Lucid canvases, the date the Lucid document was created or modified, the author, and other relevant fields will be ingested via Graph connectors to surface rich insights to users. Content ingested from Graph connector data will be linked in Copilot's references, allowing users to link back to the original Lucid whiteboard or diagram.

Not mentioned in the blog post was that the European Union began a probe in July of Microsoft's bundling of Teams in Microsoft 365 in 2023 for alleged anticompetitive rule violations. Microsoft responded by offering Teams on its own as a separate subscription in October, but this move reportedly may not be enough to keep the company from avoiding a possible fine from the EU.

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