Microsoft is working on a new calendar feature for its collaboration software Teams (opens in new tab) that should make it much easier to synchronize with colleagues.
According to the company’s product roadmap (opens in new tab), a shared calendar will be created for each new Teams channel, where any upcoming meetings and events involving the participants of that specific channel will be displayed.
“Teams automatically creates a new post, which will appear in the activity feed, when a channel meeting is created. Any user who has notifications turned off will see the event only when they open the channel calendar,” explained Microsoft.
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In theory, channel-specific calendars should prevent double-bookings and miscommunications over availability that may arise as a result of the inability to hold a quick conversation in-person.
The new Teams calendar feature is currently under development, but is slated to arrive for both desktop and web clients in January.
Microsoft Teams update
The calendar upgrade arrives hot on the heels of a series of improvements to the Microsoft Teams platform, which has enjoyed a dramatic surge in usage since the pandemic began.
Over the course of the last few months, Microsoft has delivered a significant upgrade to the service’s audio calling facility (opens in new tab), introduced Zoom-esque breakout rooms (opens in new tab), and added a selection of new aesthetic options (opens in new tab) ahead of the holiday season.
The company also recently announced it would allow free users to host video calls for up to 24 hours at a time, dwarfing the 40-minute and 60-minute call duration limits set by Zoom (opens in new tab) and Google Meet (opens in new tab) respectively.
Microsoft’s new calendar feature should synergize particularly well with an upcoming Outlook integration (opens in new tab), expected to land in March. Users will be able to send copies of emails directly into Teams channels, which could then be used to inform the scheduling of any upcoming meetings.
The consistent trickle of upgrades suggests Microsoft is confident about the long-term prospects of video conferencing and collaboration offerings, even after the pandemic has subsided.
In an increasingly congested market, the company is working to consolidate the various applications employees are forced to juggle, making Teams the central hub for remote working.
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