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Calls on Microsoft Teams are finally getting a major upgrade

Coordinated Meetings
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Making conference calls on the go could soon be easier than ever thanks to a major upgrade to Microsoft Teams.

According to a Microsoft blog post, the firm has streamlined the calling experience in Teams, bringing call history, voicemail, contacts and the dial pad together in a single tab.

Call recordings can also now be synchronized with Microsoft OneDrive and Sharepoint, making sharing audio files and transcripts simpler, and Teams will even offer CarPlay support, allowing users to pick up calls on the move.

In early 2021, meanwhile, Microsoft will introduce a new call transfer facility that makes it simple to switch between mobile and desktop, as well as call queue and in-built contact center solutions for relevant enterprise customers.

Microsoft Teams update

Microsoft Teams is an all-in-one collaboration platform, which means it offers text-based, video and audio communications features. While the video conferencing facility has received most of the limelight, in competition with rival offering Zoom, the Teams audio calling function has also seen significant uptake since the start of the pandemic.

According to Microsoft, Teams users made over 650 million calls in October, up 11 fold on pre-Covid levels. On average, these calls are four times shorter than traditional face-to-face meetings, hinting at a potential increase in productivity.

What Microsoft most hopes to emulate with its new calling features, however, is the water-cooler conversations that were a feature of life in the office, but fell away with the widespread transition to remote working.

“People adjusted quickly to moving meetings online, but one of the most notable challenges driven by the shift to remote work has been to maintain the personal connections that come from the ad hoc and serendipitous conversations that happen in the physical office,” explained the firm.

“These innovations are examples of our ongoing commitment to support spontaneous collaboration and personal connections that voice enables.”