Published on November 16, 2023, 3:30 pm

During Microsoft’s recent Ignite 2023 event, the company revealed some exciting updates for Teams, its popular collaboration and messaging platform. Among the many updates announced, two stood out: voice isolation and a new feature called “decorate your background.”

Voice isolation is an AI-driven noise reduction feature that not only reduces repetitive background noise but also filters out other people’s voices during meetings. This can greatly enhance the audio quality and improve overall communication effectiveness. The feature is currently rolling out and will be generally available in early 2024.

The “decorate your background” feature allows users to enhance their work environments visually. By analyzing the room where someone is working, Teams can clean up clutter or even add virtual elements like plants to the wall. This feature aims to provide a pleasant and visually appealing workspace without the need for physical cleanup. It will be available early next year for Teams Premium users.

Another interesting announcement was the availability of immersive spaces in Teams. These are 3D environments where users can create avatars to attend meetings and engage in interactive activities like playing games or socializing. These immersive spaces, powered by Microsoft Mesh technology, will be generally available in January.

In addition to these eye-catching features, Microsoft also introduced several new improvements aimed at enhancing user experience and productivity. Customizable emoji reactions, chat forwarding, group chat profile pictures, and the ability to add a private second phone number for select callers were among the highlights.

For IT professionals managing Teams, Microsoft has introduced new tools and keyboard shortcuts that facilitate more effective team management. IT admins will now have more control over team settings while using features like Alt+Shift+D to set a user’s status to “Do Not Disturb.”

Earlier this year, Microsoft launched a re-architected Teams app for Windows and Mac platforms that significantly improved performance. Now, they are extending these enhancements to web experiences on Edge and Chrome browsers as well. Users can expect faster load times and improved efficiency, with Microsoft promising a 50% reduction in memory usage.

These updates bring exciting new possibilities to Microsoft Teams users. Whether it’s improved audio quality, visually enhanced workspaces, immersive meetings, or better productivity tools, these features aim to make collaboration more seamless and enjoyable.

Please note that this article was originally published on Nov. 15 at 8 am PT and updated at 3:10 pm PT.

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