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Microsoft's Slack rival gets translation and Surface Hub compatibility

Microsoft's Slack rival gets translation and Surface Hub compatibility

With 5,000 companies in 25 countries owning one or more Hubs, the company has, unsurprisingly, announced plans to introduce a sequel later this year.

Effectively a giant Windows 10 touchscreen PC with a unique UI, the Surface Hub is typically mounted on meeting room walls, but can be set up as a table top interface. Effectively a new product category, Microsoft is keen to build on its momentum with a hardware refresh.

Teams usage should tick upwards in the coming year as Microsoft gently nudges Skype for Business from its perch.

But perhaps of the more interesting new additions will the addition of inline message translation.

To soften the blow, Microsoft has announced some new Teams features to arrive at some undefined point in the future, possibly the second quarter of 2018.

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First off is cloud recording, which will provide "one-click meeting recordings with automatic transcription and timecoding, enabling all team members the ability to read captions, search within the conversation, and playback all or part of the meeting". A future upgrade will include facial recognition so that comments can be assigned to specific individuals.

Microsoft says that its new Direct Routing service will transform Teams into a "full voice service" that works for both calling and meeting room devices.

The latest enhancements break down along the lines of features and functionality, calling, and device support, Wright said.

Background blur on video-The ability to blur your background during video calls will allow other meeting attendees to focus on you, not what's behind you. Team Meetings will also support audio and HD video conference room systems from Lenovo, HP, Logitech and others, along with any Skype Room systems. Microsoft highlighted that Plantronics is making desk phones that can tap into Microsoft Teams to make voice calls.

Mobile sharing in meetings-Meeting attendees will be able to share a live video stream, photos, or the screen from their mobile device. The company shared today Teams will pick up consultative transfer and call delegation and federation features.


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