Microsoft said its chat and conferencing app, Teams, reached 44 million users as of March 11 amid a surge in remote work by organizations around the world in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Teams is adding approx 2 million users daily as companies try and mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 by asking employees to work from home.

Microsoft Teams also rolled out many features designed to help with telemedicine and the working from home model, such as a booking application to help hospitals manage their virtual appointments.

“As organizations around the world are changing the way they work in response to the situation, we’re going to learn a tremendous amount,” Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, said in a virtual news conference.

Microsoft Teams new features

Real-time noise suppression 

For example, if someone is typing on a keyboard while in a meeting, the rustling of a bag of chips and a vacuum cleaner running in the background. The feature uses AI to remove the noise so you can hear what is being said on the call.

Hand-raising feature

This feature is geared toward large meetings, where it’s sometimes more difficult for remote participants to chime in. Anyone in the meeting can click the “raise hand” icon to send a visual signal that they have something to say.

Offline and low-bandwidth support 

If you have a poor internet connection or none at all, you will still be able to read chat messages and write responses. Microsoft Teams will automatically send and retrieve messages on your behalf.

Coming Soon

Teams will let you pop chats out into a separate window. This should be useful for when you want to keep a specific conversation going but still keep working in Teams.

Microsoft Teams

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