Microsoft launches Azure Communication Services and new features on Teams

Microsoft announced several new launches during its online conference Microsoft Ignite 2020

Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella. Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft announced this Tuesday, during its online conference Microsoft Ignite 2020, a set of new tools and services for developers and organizations.

The event, happening this year from September 22nd to 24th, gathered launches such as the Azure Communication Services, “the first fully managed communication platform offering from a major cloud provider.”

According to Microsoft, the platform makes it easy for developers to add voice and video calling, chat, and SMS text message capabilities to mobile apps, desktop applications, and websites.

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Microsoft Teams. Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft Teams, a business unit that has played a major role in the company during the Covid-19 pandemic was also the target of several new announcements. Features like the Together Mode, previously launched in July, got an update during the event with the launch of new mode scenes: auditoriums, coffee shops, and conference rooms.

Teams also gained new “custom layouts that make presented content more dynamic and engaging, for example, by bringing the presenter’s video feed into the foreground of the shared content screen,” stated the company. Breakout rooms, a popular feature in counterparts such as Zoom, are also being integrated into Teams.

Well-being insights and features inside Teams platform, including integration with apps like Headspace were also announced, as well as the addition of Workplace Analytics, giving “managers line of sight into teamwork norms like after-hours collaboration, focus time, meeting effectiveness, and cross-company connections. These will then be compared to averages among similar teams to provide managers with actionable insights.”

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