Microsoft Teams and Outlook Get Updates for Hybrid Workers
The move by Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) comes as the company seeks to better position itself against rival offerings from Google (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) and other tech companies in the workplace collaboration software market, now estimated at $16 billion globally by research firm IDC. Specifically, Microsoft’s new features come in response to the growing role of hybrid workers who need both cloud-based and local applications to do their jobs. The updates will be available later this month.
Highlights From Microsoft’s Hybrid Conference
Microsoft unveiled their latest updates to the Microsoft Teams and Outlook products. The company wanted to show that teams working in a hybrid mode can get things done just as well if not better than those who work exclusively on-premises. Microsoft also highlighted features like AI-powered chatbots, translation, security, and even collaboration with third party apps.
For example, Skype is now integrated into Teams so you can make audio or video calls directly from the app. It’s clear that this was an answer to Slack, which has offered this functionality since it launched. And it isn’t only Skype that got some love: OneDrive integration means you can attach files straight from your OneDrive storage service to an email message – and there’s no need for sending attachments via email.
The New Features in More Detail
Updates to Microsoft’s collaboration tools include improvements in security, speed, productivity, and more. During Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference yesterday, head of Microsoft Office marketing Katie Lynch described the changes as a whole new generation of the products. It is all about modernizing our enterprise services, she said in a company blog post. The updates will roll out over the next year and a half, including features such as live subtitling that allows users to see English subtitles on top of another language during video calls.
Faster search capabilities also play an important role with updates to both email and chat – making it easier than ever before to find what you need fast! Also announced was new enterprise-grade encryption and a trust center which help ensure safety, privacy, and compliance across teams. Additionally, software engineers are working to add in AI-powered assistance that helps people become even more productive by learning their work habits, providing predictive insights based on user behavior, and integrating seamlessly into existing workflows.
This update is aimed at catering to a growing segment of the workforce: people who work both inside and outside of their company. Project Rome, which Microsoft says it has been working on since the release of Windows 10, will enable developers to build apps that work across devices regardless of platform. Additionally, Microsoft has developed an app called Azure AD Connect that takes on some of the administrative chores typically associated with managing multiple accounts.
Employees can have personal email addresses like Gmail or Hotmail as well as corporate ones like Exchange and still use them interchangeably in Office 365 email without having to log out of one account to log into another. They also won’t have to manage different passwords for each account. The update comes just ahead of a more significant rollout of OneDrive cloud storage later this year. OneDrive already features placeholders, so users know what files are available locally and remotely when they go offline.