Microsoft strives for ubiquity in the remote meeting sector since the global pandemic forced employees around the world to work from home. Unofficially, Zoom has remained the platform of choice for millions, but privacy concerns and data breaches have since caused users to retreat.
Microsoft continues to make updates to Teams, and their latest round of features may finally give the tech giant the upper hand.
This month, Microsoft is rolling out new tools, including those that will help manage tasks, automate workflows, and streamline collaborations in Teams without ever leaving the platform. The new Tasks app in Teams provides a unified view of tasks and assignments from Microsoft To-Do, Planner, and Outlook, which helps people consolidate and prioritize their work.
Updates to its Whiteboard will optimize the way people run meetings, brainstorm, and think creatively. The addition of sticky notes allows users to contribute even when using a device without a digital pen and the ability to re-order objects on the whiteboard with a simple drag and drop makes the platform easier to use.
Other updates are designed to help IT departments streamline rollouts. With the integration between Azure AD and SAP SuccessFactors, users can now automate access to applications and resources so that new hires can be up and running with full access to the necessary applications from Day One. The integration also reduces dependencies on IT helpdesks for onboarding and offboarding tasks.
There are also updates to Excel, with the Visio Data Visualizer add-in allowing users to create data-driven Visio diagrams directly in the program. The Application Guard, another new feature, helps desktop users stay safer by opening Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files in a virtualized container.
There are updated abilities to upload images to galleries and search inside chats and channels for those who use Teams on Android. Users are also able to generate links for free meeting invites, which they can then send to others who do not have a Teams account, with a new Safe Key setting.
Meanwhile, iOS users will find that they're able to see eight participants at the same time on an iPhone and nine on an iPad.
“Our mission is to enable people, teams, and organizations to thrive in this new world of remote and hybrid work and learning,” the company shared in a blog post.