Microsoft on Thursday said it will introduce additional features to its chat and conferencing app Teams, at a time when the work-from-home model has been gaining prominence across workspaces globally.
Microsoft users will no longer have to re-authenticate when they use Teams for the first time. Customers can also share reports, or specific charts in reports, on Teams with the ‘share to teams’ button. Organisations can schedule, manage and conduct business-to-consumer virtual appointments through the new integrated Bookings app as well.
Additionally, the Redmond, Washington-based company said it will introduce channel templates to the platform, which will come with pre-loaded apps and channel structures, in the next few months. Channels are dedicated sections for specific topics or conversations.
Separately, the company is working on a support capability for its Network Device Interface (NDI) to transform a Teams meeting into a virtual stage, as per the statement. Video sources from Teams can be plugged into a production tool, such as OBS, Wirecast, Xsplit and StreamLabs.
NDI will make it easy for broadcasters to connect with external audiences, it said. The technology is a royalty-free software standard that enables video-compatible products to communicate, deliver and receive broadcast-quality video.
The updates come at a time when video conferencing players such as Zoom, Microsoft Skype and Google Meet, as well as communications platform providers including Teams and Slack, are gaining popularity worldwide due to the Covid-19 lockdown, and the subsequent remote working setups.
The number of daily active users on Teams has grown to 75 million during the Covid-19 pandemic, a 70% jump from March, CEO Satya Nadella said during a company earnings call with analysts on April 29.
At number 10, the platform made it to mobile marketing analytics firm Sensor Tower’s list of the world’s most installed apps in April.