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Microsoft has been adding more features to Microsoft Teams, its virtual meeting tool due to growing competition from Zoom and Google Meet. Now Microsoft is setting the bar high as they will be adding AI powered “Together Mode” and other features to make their platform more collaborative and effective for the video conferencing.

Since most of the people are working from home for the past several months now because the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, daily video conferences are the new normal with the colleagues. 

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Image Credits: Microsoft

Microsoft Teams "Together Mode" will place your co-workers digitally in a meeting room with AI

With Microsoft Together mode, Teams use AI to place you digitally into the meeting along with other 49 co-workers. Instead of the rectangles or the tiles where the standard display of the participants, Teams will place them digitally using “AI Segmentation” to place their head and shoulders of the participants side by side in a virtual auditorium.

Microsoft’s research scientist Jaron Lanier has said that new feature was developed specifically during this pandemic due to the significant number of meetings have moved to virtual. The together mode design was initiated, developed and released during this pandemic.

Together Mode is an experimental feature and Microsoft is learning a lot from customers about how to make meetings more engaging and effective. It is the first release of the together mode and many more follow on the user feedback. He added.

Credits: Microsoft​

In a blog post, Microsoft 365 Corporate Vice President Jared Spataro has said that as the global response to COVID-19 evolves, communities around the world have moved from an era of “remote everything” into a more hybrid model of work, learning, and life.

Teams will also be getting new features like Dynamic View and Live reactions. With Dynamic View, Microsoft builds on already available features, such as large gallery view and virtual breakout rooms, to introduce the ability to view shared content and specific participants side-by-side. Meanwhile, Teams users will soon be able to deploy emojis during a video chat to provide instant feedback to live presentations. The platform is also expanding the participant capacity for video interactions up to 1000 and a view-only facility to 20,000.

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Image Credits: Microsoft​

Most of these new Microsoft Teams features will arrive in the app later this year, and they’re a clear indication of just how fast Microsoft is responding to competition and an ongoing pandemic that’s shaping how we live and learn.

Since the COVID cases are still spreading around the world, many employers are encouraging their employees working from home. Online video conferencing platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Google Meet have become more of a necessity for most of the business on a daily basis. However, the user experience and ease of use are going to be critical to attract more users.