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Microsoft Teams marks its first birthday with a roadmap designed to battle Slack

Microsoft Teams celebrated its first year of competing against other collaboration tools like Slack and HipChat by giving users a peek at the roadmap of upcoming features, including cloud recordings, transcription, and even facial recognition.

Since Microsoft made Teams part of Office 365 a year ago, the company says more than 200,000 organizations make Teams part of their collaborative tools, including General Motors and Macy’s.

The blog post listed nine specific additions that it hopes will give Teams an advantage over its more established rivals, though the timeline for their arrival was not revealed. Some will be within Teams itself, and others will be within the devices that connect to it. Within the latter category, Microsoft said that its Surface Hub would be gaining native support for Teams, as well as several partner devices. 

microsoft teams infographic Microsoft

A summary of what Microsoft Teams has accomplished in its first year, according to Microsoft.

Right now, the main focus of Teams seems to be improving the video chat experience, especially for those who are in remote offices and in different countries. (It’s unclear whether these capabilities will eventually arrive on Skype.) Here’s a short list of some of the upcoming features:

Cloud recording: Team will automatically record, time-stamp and transcribe the recording, providing captions and a searchable transcript of the meeting

Facial recognition: in the “future,” Microsoft said, remarks will be attributed to the participants using facial recognition.

Inline message translation: Using the automatic translation features in Skype that Microsoft has shown off previously, meeting participants will be able to have their remarks automatically transcribed and translated. 

Background blurring: Do you work in a home office and hope to avoid this adorable BBC blunder? Teams will automatically blur the background, Microsoft said.

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