It might sound like a bit of irony, but amidst these tough times Microsoft has a reason to celebrate with Windows 10 reaching a billion users globally and now it has another milestone to pop open the champagne for as Teams usage has escalated massively thanks to more people working from home. The latter was not without its issues as Teams initially went down last week as it was trying to adjust to the fact that its usage grew 40% over in the space of a week.
To keep progress on both departments moving forward, Microsoft has announced upcoming features to both, with a new UI feature coming to Windows 10 while Teams gets a host of new features to make it work even better for the many millions of people that are now relying on it to manage their corporate communication.
On the Windows side, Microsoft is planning to reduce the colour of the blocks of the tiled interface on the Start menu to simplify it and make it easier to scan for apps. Along with this, it also appears to be working on improving its Fluent Design system in Windows 10, with more modern context menus and even a new Files app. We’ve been waiting for quite some time for a modern take on the Windows File Explorer, and this video teases that one is coming soon.
These are minor changes that no doubt give users some of the features that have been developed for the Dual Screen Windows 10X which is coming out with the Windows Neo later this year or early next.
There are bigger changes coming to Teams though (as revealed in The Verge). Firstly, Microsoft is using artificial intelligence to remove background noise from calls automatically, focusing the attention on the microphone on what you’re actually saying instead of the noise around you. Alongside the noise suppression feature, Teams will also get a “raise hand” feature later this year for people to indicate when they would like to speak, as opposed to the usual butting in that is typical of a platform like this. You’ll also be able to simply click a button to ask a question in particularly busy or large meetings.
Teams is also getting an offline mode for reading Teams chat messages and drafting responses when there’s no internet connectivity. Teams will also soon support the ability to pop out chats into separate windows, so you can quickly switch between conversations. These features are also coming “later this year” and are clearly designed to improve meeting scenarios and remote working.
So with Microsoft proving as popular as ever, it’s great to see them working to improve on their popular software. After all, the world has never needed software like this more than it does right now
Last Updated: March 24, 2020