At the annual Ignite conference, Microsoft today announced several interesting updates for Teams, the Slack-like collaboration and messaging service.
Among the many updates here, some of the highlights are the first launch of voice isolation, an AI-driven noise reduction feature that not only reduces background noise but other people’s voices as well. , and a new ‘decorate your background’ feature that can view the room you’re working in and then improve it by cleaning up clutter or adding plants to the wall.
‘Decorate your background’ is sure to steal the headlines. Users, it seems, can choose different types of improvements to their work environments, but the real promise here is that you will never have to clean your home office again (until someone invites you in a Google Meet or Slack call, wait).
The voice isolation feature is live now and will be available to most in early 2024, while ‘decorate your background’ will be available early next year in Teams Premium.
Meanwhile, Microsoft also announced that the immersive spaces of Teams, a remnant of the metaverse hype of 2021, will be available in January, allowing users to create avatars to attend these meetings within different 3D environment and play interactive games, roast virtual marshmallows and throw. beanbags (yes, those are the things Microsoft specifically mentioned in its announcement).
Microsoft Mesh, its tool for creating these immersive spaces, will also be available in January.
Hopefully you won’t need to use any of these.
Some of the more useful new features, however, are customizable emoji reactions, the ability to forward chats, create a group chat profile picture and add a private second phone number for a select set. to callers. There are also new keyboard shortcuts (Alt+Shift+D to set your status to Do Not Disturb, for example) and some new tools for IT to manage teams more effectively.
Earlier this year, Microsoft launched a re-architected Teams app for Windows and Mac. Now, the web experience in Edge and Chrome will also have some of these advantages, too, with Microsoft promising to double the performance while using 50% less memory.