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Microsoft Teams displays are getting a set of handy new features

Microsoft delivers Cortana improvements to Teams displays like Lenovo's Thinksmart View.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Microsoft is rolling out new improvements for its Teams displays, including Cortana search for meetings, swappable backgrounds for Teams, and quick replies in chat. 

The features are rolling out as part of Microsoft's March 2021 update for Teams displays, which focuses Teams through devices like Lenovo's Thinksmart View, a dedicated screen just for Teams collaboration. The idea is that having Teams on a second display means that separating out team work and individual work can make focus easier.

The Teams display experience is gaining some assistance from Cortana and Microsoft's Bing search engine to help users find information with voice while collaborating with colleagues. For example, the time in New York.

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This feature for Teams displays follows Microsoft's recent roll out of natural-language queries in English in the US for Teams mobile and Office mobile. That allowed people to use voice commands for Cortana to find messages, chats, and meetings. 

Teams on Macs and Windows PCs have let users swap out backgrounds for a while now. That same capability, including blurry backgrounds, is now coming to Teams displays like the Thinksmart View. 

Additionally, Microsoft is enabling access to Cortana and the Bing skills to users of these devices in Australia, Canada, India and the UK. Users can ask Cortana to show a schedule, send messages, and make calls.

This update also brings live reactions to meetings on Teams displays with a range of emoticons to show support, applause, love and laughter during a meeting. 

For Teams on the desktop, the next feature Microsoft is lining up is a new file-sharing experience that lets users create a link to files stored in Teams. Users will be able to set permissions for files stored in SharePoint or OneDrive.

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