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Microsoft Teams for web just got these new features

Microsoft Teams in the browser can now do some more things that the Teams desktop app can do.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Image: Shutterstock / Eakrin Rasadonyindee

Microsoft has rolled out several useful features for Teams on the web that brings the browser experience a bit closer to the desktop Teams app. 

Teams for the web includes custom background effects, Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) captioning, and Live Captions and Live Transcript, Microsoft announced in a blogpost.   

These updates follow Microsoft adding Firefox to its list of supported browsers in Teams last month, in addition to Chrome and Edge. 

SEE: Six ways to stay productive when working remote

Microsoft added custom backgrounds to the Teams desktop app for Mac and Windows in June 2020: prior to that Teams had only blurred backgrounds to give users a bit more privacy while conducting online meetings from the home. 

As Microsoft highlights, "blurring or replacing a background may not prevent sensitive information being visible to other people in the meeting."

Microsoft says these changes to Teams on the web are aimed at small businesses facing "challenges they've never experienced before". 

The top concern for US small businesses today by far is inflation, followed by supply chain issues, and revenue, according to the US Chamber of Commerce's Q2 2022 Small Business Index. Concerns about the impacts of COVID-19 are fading in comparison to those over economic headwinds, the report said. 

CART captioning on the Teams for the web could be handy for businesses that want to use Teams in the browser. This avoids the need to see captions from a secondary window.  

"You can now view captions coming from a CART provider (real-time captioning) within the Microsoft Teams meeting window instead of a secondary window. Follow along with what is being said without having to choose between the captions and the presentation," Microsoft says.  

SEE: Remote workers want new benefits. This is how employers are responding

Meeting organizers and participants can enable CART captions from their meeting options detailed here.  

Microsoft enabled live transcription and captioning in Teams for the desktop for 27 languages in September 2021, so now this same breadth in language support for the two services is available for the Teams on the web.

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