Three years ago this week, Microsoft launched its Teams collaboration service to compete with Slack. To celebrate, the company announced a bunch of new features that are on their way, most of which aren't coming until later this year.
First up is real-time noise suppression. This is meant to block out people that are typing loudly, a vacuum in the background, or something else, without having to mute someone on a call. There's also going to be an option to raise your hand, something that's common on other virtual meeting platforms.
There are some new apps and integrations on the way, and improvements for firstline workers, such as new licensing options. There'll be an integration with RealWear head-mounted devices, so firstline workers can communicate with experts hands-free. There's also a Bookings app on the way.
Teams is finally going to let you pop chats out into a separate window, and more interestingly, it's getting low-bandwidth and offline support. You'll be able to read existing chat messages, and write responses without an internet connection.
Microsoft is also adding more devices for use with Teams, such as the Yealink VC210 and Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 UC. And for small- to mid-sized businesses, there's a new Microsoft 365 Business Voice plan to offer Teams as a complete phone system.