The upgrade to Teams allows workers to personalize their digital offices. (Source: Microsoft Teams)

Microsoft Introduces New Functions for Teams Platform

With so many people working digitally from home these days, there are big changes taking place to make working from home a totally different experience. Microsoft Teams is leading the charge on some of these changes.

A proprietary business communication platform, Microsoft Teams offers workspace chat and videoconferencing, file storage and application integration. Todd Bishop, co-founder of wrote about the 2020 upgrade to the home/office workspace and presentation suite.

The company’s virtual Ignite tech is responsible for the improvements, which will help keep pace with the changing marketplace as user demand “zooms.”

The ability to create ad hoc breakout rooms will be available starting next month. Microsoft says this is one of the most requested Teams features—one that is used on Zoom.

“Meeting organizers will be able to split up participants into smaller groups to facilitate brainstorming sessions or workgroup discussions. Presenters can then hop between breakout rooms, make announcements to all breakout rooms, and close the rooms to return everyone to the main meeting,” the company says in a blog post.

Microsoft is partnering with meditation app Headspace on a customizable “virtual commute” feature. It uses automation technology to help users close out tasks and designate work for the following day, log their sentiment about the workday, and then direct them into a guided meditation process.

Page For Virtual Office Workers

The “Together Mode” backdrops and custom layouts for presentations are expected to be popular and make the virtual work experience friendlier and more productive. The new backdrops show participants in shared virtual spaces including conference rooms and a coffee shop.

Microsoft is competing against Zoom, Slack, Google and others in the market for remote collaboration technology, which has been growing quickly due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Microsoft in April said Teams surpassed 75 million daily active users, up from 44 million the month before.

Slack filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft in Europe in July, alleging that it illegally leverages its Office platform to give Teams an unfair distribution and marketing advantage.