Microsoft’s Teams had a very busy September with a host of new features. Now the company is trying to improve the performance of its Teams service as it battles to defeat Zoom in the video conferencing space.
In an update detailing the features added in September, Microsoft explained how it was trying to improve Teams’ performance as much of its workforce continues to work from home.
Microsoft says it is working to ensure that businesses and schools “have a high-quality experience that can be scaled over their devices and levels of Internet connectivity.”
Performance Improvements in Teams
For times when there is limited network connectivity, Microsoft is working to enable offline support in Teams so that users can write offline messages and send them automatically when the connection is restored. It’s already possible to run the desktop client on Windows and macOS in environments with limited bandwidth or no network connection.
Meanwhile, Microsoft says it has increased Teams’ boot time on Windows and macOS by up to 30% and made changes to video playback. At the same time, Microsoft is optimizing battery life for Teams iOS users in an effort to support Firstline Workers and people who aren’t behind their desktop throughout the day. In addition, Microsoft says it optimizes the Android Teams app for low bandwidth environments.
New features to beat Zoom
The performance improvements follow on the heels of some key Teams feature updates in September, as Microsoft strives to cross Zoom into the video conferencing space. For example, Teams Together Mode has added Scenes, which allows colleagues to meet in different environments, including coffee shops, auditoriums, and meeting rooms.
This month, Microsoft Teams launches brainstorming rooms where people can split into smaller groups during a meeting or conference.
Other Teams features to match Zoom include improvements to Teams on both iPhones and Android smartphones and the ability to see up to 49 participants during a call. To take advantage of this new view, Microsoft says users must enable the multi-window meeting experience.
Many of these features are already available in Zoom, but Microsoft has integrated Teams features into the rest of its offerings.
Mor for example, the new Advanced Communications offering really leverages the IT giant’s other services, and more Microsoft 365 integrations have also been announced soon.
Zoom lacks that integration, and many people still worry about its security, despite efforts to improve it.
In addition to these exciting new features, the Teams improvements will certainly be welcome, as some users have complained of performance issues when using the video conferencing service. If Microsoft can combine solid performance with a feature-rich and integrated service, Teams has a serious chance of beating Zoom.