Microsoft's group chat "Teams" to get Live message translation and more

On its first anniversary, Slack rival Microsoft Teams has announced a range of new features that will be rolled out over the course of this year.

As per some reports from the Beebom the Microsoft Teams users will soon be able to blur the background of the video during a video call.

The Cortana integration is for Teams-enabled VoIP phone and conference room devices.

Yes, the Slack competitor has been with us for 365 goes round the sun, and to celebrate, it's getting Cortana integration. Blurring is one approach to the issue.

Adding Skype rooms to any meeting will be possible just by proximity, and adding info from mobile devices will be added too.

Another feature which Microsoft will be adding is the option to share a live video stream, photos or the screen via the Microsoft Teams mobile app.

Microsoft is also adding a number of new features during the year.

Microsoft says that its new Direct Routing service will transform Teams into a "full voice service" that works for both calling and meeting room devices.

Going forward Microsoft plans to enable Teams on calling and meeting room devices for which the company is now working with OEMs like Lenovo and HP along with Logitech to bring the Teams on the meeting room devices. More detail on Direct Routing is available here.

Surface Hub integration: Teams will now be natively supported on the Microsoft Surface Hub.

Teams, a cloud-based team collaboration and communications solution built on Office 365, has been available for one year, with GA announced this week last year. Microsoft said this will allow users to make a call, join a meeting, or add other people to a meeting in Teams using spoken, natural language. It will also get facial recognition in the future so as to allow meeting remarks to be properly attributed. Parts of the calling roadmap that Microsoft highlighted again on Monday included consultative transfer and call delegation.

Microsoft didn't give specific dates for the new tools, saying only they would be coming later this year. For meetings, those features include broadcast meetings, federated meetings, large meeting support for about 250 participants, a lobby for PSTN callers, Outlook meeting schedules from other platforms, PowerPoint loading and sharing, whiteboard and meeting notes, user-level meeting policies for IT professionals, and e-discovery enhancements. In addition to the previously mentioned AI and automation capabilities, judges pointed to the Microsoft's endpoint deployment strategy and the solution's potential enterprise reach as reasons for selecting Teams as the 2018 victor.

Vanessa Coleman