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Calls on Microsoft Teams are finally getting a major upgrade

Coordinated Meetings
(Image credit: Microsoft)
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Making conference calls on the go could soon be easier than ever thanks to a major upgrade to Microsoft Teams (opens in new tab).

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

Call recordings can also now be synchronized with Microsoft OneDrive (opens in new tab) and Sharepoint (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab), which means it offers text-based, video and audio communications features. While the video conferencing (opens in new tab) facility has received most of the limelight, in competition with rival offering Zoom (opens in new tab), 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.”

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Joel Khalili
Joel Khalili

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.