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Microsoft Teams gets more collaborative in bid to fight Zoom

Microsoft looks to distance Teams from its roots as a corporate chat app

Microsoft has been slowly making Teams a more collaborative environment, and at Build 2021, the tech giant announced a handful of Teams updates that'll continue the path towards a more collaborative offering.

Microsoft announced that it'll give developers significantly more liberty within the interface. This freedom will begin with Teams no longer relegating third-party apps to the sidebars. Instead, Teams is testing a main-stage collaboration tool that'll allow these apps to live front and center on the main screen.

This would be useful for a brainstorming session where there's a whiteboard in the middle of the meeting for jotting down ideas and key points, for example.

Teams will also allow developers to create custom scenes for company meetings and to use APIs that allow them to automate key tasks at specific times during a meeting. For example, reminding the host to start a wrap-up Q&A session with at least 15 minutes remaining.

Real-time transcription, translation, and note-taking during meetings are slated to arrive this summer. Of course, admins will have the ability to activate and deactivate these features with ease. This way, if there is a meeting that involves sensitive or confidential details, you can deactivate these services to keep the information secure.

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Finally, using Fluid Framework components, Microsoft plans to allow users to work on tables, lists, and text fields in one Teams conversation and copy them into another conversion or into an Office 365 app. These files would also be editable by colleagues in real-time.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, collaboration and video conferencing software providers have been booming. Teams has been among those seeing quite the boost, as the company now says it has over 145 million daily users. And with remote working here to stay for many companies, now's the perfect time for Microsoft to show off the flexibility of Teams.

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