Microsoft's Slack competitor is getting Cortana integration and message translation

Microsoft Teams ratchets up Slack challenge, claims 200k organizations as customers one year after launch

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) says 200K organizations now use its Teams, a Slack alternative, up from 125K in September.

In the competition for new customers, Microsoft Teams benefits from its inclusion in business editions of Microsoft's Office 365 at no extra charge.

Microsoft announced its group collaboration platform Teams nearly a year and a half ago, but it was made generally available at this time last year.

Microsoft Teams is now being used by 200,000 organizations in 181 markets around the world, up four-fold since the tech giant's workplace chat and collaboration technology launched one year ago this week, according to new statistics released by the Redmond company this morning.

Teams customers include Navistar, Macy's, GM, GE, and ConocoPhillips.

The cloud meeting recordings capability will be available this summer, with the other features and functionalities to follow later this year, Wright said.

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Teams also now has an app ecosystem that continues to grow and includes the likes of Adobe, Trello, Zoom.ai, and many others who are turning Teams from a simple collaboration tool to an entire productivity application.

First off is cloud recording, which will provide "one-click meeting recordings with automatic transcription and timecoding, enabling all team members the ability to read captions, search within the conversation, and playback all or part of the meeting".

One of the new features is Cortana integration. A future upgrade will include facial recognition so that comments can be assigned to specific individuals.

Another new feature will be the ability to blur a background during video calls, so that other meeting attendees will focus on the person speaking, and not might be happen in the office behind them. Also coming is a Direct Routing feature which will allow users to use existing telephony infrastructures with Teams. It'll also let you share a live video stream, photos or screens from your smartphone.

The last two additions will be proximity detection for Teams Meetings, to make it easier for people to discover and add a nearby and available Skype Room System to any meeting. The company shared today Teams will pick up consultative transfer and call delegation and federation features.

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