Microsoft confirms Cortana integration, message translation coming to Teams later this year

Microsoft is going public with some of the coming new features for its Teams service, and says there are now 200,000 organizations using the product.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

A year after launching its Microsoft Teams chat-collaboration platform, Microsoft is previewing some of the new features it plans to add later this year.

Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft hinted at plans for several of those features, including Cortana integration for Teams-enabled devices, in-line message translation and simple meeting recordings with automatic transcription, last summer in a webcast about how AI could make meetings less painful.

Microsoft execs also said today that 200,000 organizations are now using Teams, up from 50,000 at launch in March 2017, and 125,000 in September.

Coming "soon" to Teams are the following features, officials said on March 12:

  • Cloud recording, providing one-click meeting recordings with automatic transcription and timecoding
  • In-line message translation in channels and chat
  • Cortana voice interactions for Teams-enabled devices, including IP phones and conference room devices
  • Background blur on video, providing the ability to blur your background during video calls
  • Proximity detection for Teams Meetings for finding and adding Skype Room Systems (meeting-room consoles) to any meeting
  • Mobile sharing in meetings, enabling attendees to share a live video stream, photos, or the screen from their mobile device.

As noted last week, Microsoft also is working to add native Teams support on Surface Hub conferencing systems this calendar year.

Microsoft is in the midst of adding Skype for Business features to Teams in order to migrate eventually its Skype for Business customers to Teams.

Microsoft execs said today they are adding as of Q2 2018 consultative transfer, call delegation and federation to Teams. They're also adding Direct Routing, enabling customers to use their existing telephony infrastructure for Teams in Q2, as well. Officials said last year that many, but not all, enterprise calling features would be added to Teams by the end of Q2 2018.

"When you combine a Microsoft Calling Plan or Direct Routing with our Phone System for Office 365, Teams becomes a full voice service," according to company officials in a blog post.

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