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Slack Rival Microsoft Teams Gets New Features: Message Translation, Cortana Integration

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Last year, Microsoft came up with its own Slack competitor, called Teams. To celebrate one year on the market, Microsoft Teams is now getting some neat new features.

Teams is turning one this week, and Microsoft is looking to further improve the experience by adding inline message translation, as well as Cortana integration. This should significantly boost the platform's appeal and make things easier and more convenient for users.

Microsoft Teams: The 'Ultimate Hub For Teamwork'

Microsoft highlights that Teams has grown tremendously over the past year, gaining new capabilities and more users. As many as 200,000 organizations currently use Teams, spanning over 181 markets and 39 languages. Heavyweight names include General Motors, NASCAR, Technicolor, and Macy's.

Teams leverages the power of Office 365 and Microsoft's expertise to offer chat-based collaboration, calling, and meetings and the upcoming Cortana integration will soon add voice features to the mix to deliver the "ultimate hub for teamwork," touts Microsoft. Microsoft Graph, meanwhile, adds artificial intelligence capabilities.

Microsoft Teams Cortana Integration And Message Translation

Cortana integration means that Teams will support voice commands through supported devices such as conference room gadgets or IP phones. The trend is going strong, and even Amazon recently announced Alexa for Business.

With message translation, Teams users will be able to easily and seamlessly translate messages in chats and channels, which could be particularly useful for those working with other teams in other countries.

Microsoft Teams Cloud Recording, Automatic Transcripts

In addition to inline message translation and Cortana integration, Microsoft Teams is also getting cloud recording for meetings, so that it's all safely stored. Moreover, cloud recording also comes with automatic timecoding and transcription, background blurring for video, and mobile sharing. Users will also be able to find and add other Skype Room Systems to their meetings.

Various platforms for enterprise use have been gaining ground recently, but Teams seems to be doing particularly well. Facebook Workplace, for instance, announced back in October 2017 that it reached 30,000 users. Microsoft Teams had 50,000 organizations on the platform at launch, and with 200,000 organizations now, it's shaping up as a worthy Slack rival.

Slack is still far ahead, currently boasting roughly 6 million daily users, but the growth rate of Microsoft Teams indicates that it could catch up. Microsoft is also expected to launch a free tier for Teams, as it's making efforts to integrate it into Surface Hub displays.

A free version of Microsoft Teams will likely further boost its user base and drive greater worldwide adoption.

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