“You can send out a chat message in a time that is convenient to you, and the message will arrive to its destination at the time you scheduled,” Microsoft explained.
Although Microsoft would probably say the feature is designed for users whose colleagues work in different time zones, it could serve equally well as a crafty means of appearing online. Many remote workers say they have felt pressure to work longer days since the start of the pandemic and the delayed message feature could provide a subtle way to rebel against this trend.
Unfortunately, however, users have a little while to wait before they can make use of the new chat functionality. The feature is still currently under development, set to roll out far and wide in February next year.
Microsoft Teams chat updates
In addition to delayed message delivery, Microsoft is also set to roll out a number of further updates for Teams chats.
In another roadmap entry, for example, Microsoft discusses a new chat density option that allows users to customize the number of messages that appear on-screen at once. According to Microsoft, a new compact setting will cram 50% more messages on screen, while the so-called “comfortable setting” will keep the chat view as it is today.
Taking inspiration from Slack, Microsoft will also allow Teams users to send messages, files and multimedia content to themselves via a dedicated chat channel. On other platforms, this kind of feature has been useful for jotting down simple notes and reminders, a facility that has been missing from Teams until now.
And finally, Teams users will soon be able to chat with people outside of their work network, provided they have a Teams personal account.
“This is expanding on our external access capabilities, enabling Teams users to invite for a 1:1 or group chat any other federated Teams users using an email address or phone number and remain within the security policies of their organization,” said Microsoft.
All of these chat updates are due to go live by February 2022 at the latest, with some arriving in preview a little sooner.
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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.