Microsoft Teams Hits 44 Million Active Users, New Features on the Way

Posted on March 19, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Office 365, Microsoft 365 with 13 Comments

Microsoft is marking the third anniversary of Teams by adding numerous new features to what it calls a hub for teamwork.

“I’m really inspired by the ways in which organizations across the world are using Teams to transform the way they work,” Microsoft corporate vice president Jared Spataro said in a virtual press briefing. “Looking back over the past three years, it’s really incredible to see how far Teams has come.”

Microsoft launched Teams in 2017 as a chat-based workspace, but it has since evolved into what Spataro calls “a hub for teamwork,” a sort of collaboration-based replacement for Microsoft Outlook. “You can chat, meet, call, and collaborate all in place,” Spataro noted.

Team has also evolved to meet the needs of the 2+ billion firstline works in the world, with what Spataro says are “purpose-built capabilities for industry-specific scenarios” such as patient care coordination for healthcare teams. That’s proven to be particularly useful given the COVID-19 pandemic that we’re currently dealing with.

Microsoft said a week ago that Teams had over 32 million active users across over 650 organizations with 10,000 or more employees. And 93 of the Fortune 100 are using Teams. “To be clear, these are people taking intentional actions in the app,” Spataro said, referencing competitor claims question active users. These users are “sending chats, starting meetings, or editing a file.”

But things have changed a lot in just the past week because of the COVID-19 outbreak: the number of active Teams users has grown by 12 million to 44 million daily users around the world. And there are now 20 Microsoft customers with over 100,000 users, compared to 14 a week earlier.

Today, Microsoft is also announcing new Teams capabilities that will become available throughout 2020. They include:

Real-time noise suppression. This feature minimizes background noises from a vacuum cleaner to loud typing on PC keyboards.

Raise hand. This new feature allows remote workers to send a visual signal when they have something to say, without being distracting.

RealWear headset integration. Teams now integrates with this Android-based Augmented Reality (AR) headset so that firstline workers can communicate and collaborate using hands-free with remote experts.

Bookings app in Teams. Microsoft’s Bookings app is now available in Teams, making it easy to schedule, manage, and conduct online meetings with individual inside and outside your organization.

Pop-out chats. Coming soon, chats can appear in separate pop-out windows so you can move more easily between different conversations.

Offline and low-bandwidth support. Teams will allow you to access your chats and write responses even when you’re offline.

New Teams-compatible devices. New partner devices have been certified for use with Teams, including the Yealink VC210, which provides a meeting experience for smaller conference rooms, and the Bose Noise Cancelling headphone 700 UC, which will be available for purchase in “late spring.”

Microsoft 365 Business Voice. This new offering for small- and-midsized businesses in the U.S. will transform Teams into complete phone system, Microsoft says.

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Comments (13)

13 responses to “Microsoft Teams Hits 44 Million Active Users, New Features on the Way”

  1. dcdevito

    Interesting, we're rolling our RealWare at my company and messaging back to the home office was always considered a weakness. Good stuff

  2. compunut

    "Pop-out chats". Hallelujah! It is about time they enabled this, it has been my single biggest complaint with Teams.

  3. beckerrt

    Quite a success for MSFT. I think this turned out way better than had they ended up just buying Slack a few years ago.

  4. sandeepm

     “a hub for teamwork”

    Sounds like yet another attempt by Microsoft at creating a bloated equivalent of Lotus Notes.

    In its current state, it is a real pain. And no one uses Notes anymore.

  5. panderse

    The illustration had me calculating a bit until realizing it must be a typo: 650k+ (650 thousand!) organizations with more than 10k users, means at least 6.5 billion users.... Now reading through the article I saw that it's just 650 organizations, which makes a lot more sense of course.

    Interesting anyway to see the success of this taking off. Clearly the licensing model has put it at a very competitive edge as many organizations are already MS customers.

  6. kjb434

    I'm a Civil Engineer who works in an office of about 500 people in Houston, TX. Skype for Business was heavily used with some groups dabbling in Teams.

    With most of the staff working from and a handful going into the office, Teams has become invaluable.

    The millennials picked it up quickly and dumped Skype. The senior company officials jumped in realizing groups can still talk to each other. Me being in the middle is liking it to manage the younger engineers.

    Our admins schedule meetings in Teams from Outlook which didn't take much of any training.

    MS not buying Slack was a great decision. They built a great alternative.

    • gvan

      In reply to kjb434:

      My work (County Government) is doing the exact same thing right now. We are rolling out Teams as fast as we can right now and the user acceptance has been excellent. Teams and other cloud offerings are the BIG STORY right now.

  7. peterh_oz

    As one of those new users, in an office that uses a separate IP phone system and the previous HP TRIM (now Content Manager) for file storage, it seems to be a chat program. I'm yet to discover how it is better than desktop whatsapp for a team. For the organisation, yes, but for the actual team, I'm not yet convinced. But we'll see. We've got at least 6 months of this "new world" ahead of us.

  8. chrisrut

    Virtualizing the human experience is the name of humanity's game - for the next several decades at least. Microsoft is doing great in this space.