This new Microsoft Teams update is both dumb and amazing in equal measures

Teams on iPhone and Mac
(Image credit: wichayada suwanachun / Shutterstock)

Using Microsoft Teams as a substitute for real-life phone calls could soon get even more realistic thanks to a new update coming to the platform.

Microsoft's video conferencing service has been remarkably quick to dominate much of the online calling world, taking over as the everyday communications tool for businesses and consumers alike.

Now, Microsoft Teams is looking to be even more like a classic phone call with the introduction of a new feature that will be instantly recognisable to anyone who's ever had to call a contact centre.

Hold please

According to the relevant entry in the Microsoft 365 roadmap, the new "Music on Hold for Consult/Transfer" feature is looking to make waiting for a Teams call or being transferred, a somewhat more musical experience.

The new feature, which is in development now, means that Teams users who are put on hold ill hear music while consultation and transfer occurs. It's not known exactly what music will be played, or whether users will be able to upload or even create their own hold music, so we'll just have to wait and find out.

Microsoft says hold music helps show users that their call is still ongoing, meaning there should be no embarrassing hang-ups or disconnections due to wires getting crossed.

Microsoft expects the Music on Hold feature to begin rolling out in July 2021, all being well, with the whole gamut of Teams users able to experience it. That means it won't just be Windows desktop users that will see the update, but Android and iOS users as well.

The news comes as Microsoft Teams introduces a number of upgrades as it looks to become an must-have tool for home as well as work usage by introducing "personal features" that Microsoft hopes will make it the only video calling tool you need.

The new features look to take Microsoft Teams away from being a purely business tool, and includes Together Mode, which looks to offer a different view from regular video call, as well as the ability to react with live emojis and GIFs during a call.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.