The feature is only available in preview in US English for now but it could be useful for people with hearing difficulties or in any situation where people find it easier to understand English by reading text. However, Teams doesn't save live captions.
Among the new features is the ability to add custom backgrounds to Teams, as ZDNet reported last week. Custom backgrounds are an addition to blurred backgrounds and the existing gallery of Microsoft's background effects.
While the effects offer some protection from background distractions in the home, Microsoft offers no guarantee that they will hide all sensitive information.
Microsoft is bulking up the free version of Teams in an apparent effort to compete with Zoom and capture the same amount of growth it has enjoyed during the coronavirus pandemic remote-working boom.
This month, Microsoft started allowing users of the free version of Teams to set up a video meeting. Previously, free Teams users could only join a meeting set up by a user with a paid Teams account. Users can create a link to share with others or schedule a meeting via Microsoft Outlook or Google calendar.
A key difference between the free version of Teams and the paid version is the amount of storage available to each user and guaranteed uptime. Teams free offers 2GB per user and no guaranteed service level, while the paid-for version provides 1TB and 99.9% uptime with financial compensation if it falls below that level.