With Zoom currently being caught amidst a security and privacy nightmare, Microsoft Teams is looking to now looking to hog the limelight. It wants all remote workers and students flocking to its team collaboration platform to have the best experience. Thus, Microsoft Teams is adding a bunch of new features — Custom Backgrounds, AI noise suppression, raise hands, and more.

Custom Backgrounds

One of the features that made Zoom really popular is custom backgrounds. Microsoft Teams recognizes our need to hide the clutter in our rooms while we work from home, or simply have some fun. The much-requested Custom Backgrounds feature “is now generally available in Teams,” says the blog post.

Microsoft builds on the existing background blur feature in Teams. It’s providing users with a set of custom backgrounds, to begin with, but will add the ability to upload your own images in the near future.

Raise Hands

As a lot of schools are turning to Microsoft Teams to hold classes, Raise Hands is the need of the hour and allows participants to tap an eponymous button when they have got a query or want to add something to the conversation. This feature was initially announced last month and is now rolling out to everyone.

More Admin Controls

Microsoft Teams now gives meeting organizers (admins) the option to end a call for ‘all participants’ with a simple click of a button. Also, they now have access to a participant report that shows the join and leave times for everyone.

Both of these features will come in super handy for teachers. It will enable them to see who all attended a class and end the lecture for everyone with one click.

AI Noise Suppression

Another great new feature making its way to Microsoft Teams is called real-time noise impression. The company will use AI “to reduce distracting background noise such as loud typing or a barking dog” when you’re in a meeting. This feature isn’t live yet and should arrive before the end of this year.

In an official blog post, Microsoft has also shared figures to show how Teams usage has grown substantially due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Microsoft Teams has achieved the milestone of 2.7 billion meeting minutes in one day, which is just bonkers.

Update 1 (09/06/2020 3:08 pm)

Microsoft Teams has supported custom backgrounds for a while, but the company had said that the ability for users to upload their own backgrounds will be added in the future.

Well, the software now finally has the feature available for general users. You can upload a custom background on Microsoft Teams to use during your meetings.

While Windows users were earlier able to upload and change background in Teams thanks to a neat trick, this update brings official support for the feature. Plus, Mac users should be able to use it as well now.

VIAWindows Central

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