Microsoft Teams Improves Offering for Small Businesses

Teams' latest updates, makes communicating even easier, with improved captioning and other new features. 
Isobel O'Sullivan

Another day, another Microsoft Teams update. This time around Microsoft says it's small businesses who will benefit most, with Microsoft improving its live caption and transcript features and adding a web background blurring function to its ever-expanding tool kit.

After releasing a translation feature in March, the software company has now added a host more languages to the mix and made it possible for users to view transcripts within Teams meetings.

But with Zoom enabling background blurring for desktop users for over a year, are these upgrades really competitive enough to beat the video conferencing giant?

Microsoft Teams Rolls Out New Web Features

As part of its mission to make remote communication easier than ever, Microsoft Teams has some more exciting features to share with its web users.

In a blog post the company released this week, it announced that communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) captioning — or real-time captioning — will now be available within Microsoft Teams meetings. Previously, this feature was only available in a separate window, forcing users to switch between the captions and presentation.

Meeting organizers and participants will be able to enable this feature from their meeting options.

Microsoft Teams new CART feature

On top of making CART captions more accessible, Microsoft Teams has also improved its live captions and transcript features.

The software now showcases live captions in 27 spoken languages, including Hindi, German and Portuguese, making it easier for web users can now all around the globe to follow meetings. Aside from showing these captions live, participants can also enable a transcription feature allowing them to review conversations alongside the meeting video in real-time.

Finally, Teams has also introduced custom backgrounds to its web users, too. Participants can now choose to blur their background or select from a variety of backdrops provided by Microsoft.

Zoom vs Microsoft Teams: Which is Better?

When it comes to video conferencing tools, Zoom and Teams are some of the best around.

Both offer a plethora of useful features, multiple software integrations, and generous user limits. For most businesses, choosing between the two will be no easy feat. But luckily, our team of researchers has compared them both against hundreds of data points so you don't have to.

Overall, we think Zoom is a slightly stronger web conferencing tool, depending on your needs. Its easy to use, boasts an intuitive interface and is normally the first to release cutting-edge features.

However, if you're looking for a one-size-fits-all business collaboration tool, Teams will be your safest bet. It offers video, messaging, and call functions all on one simple platform, and its free version isn't bad, either.

If you're still stuck on a solution, learn more about how these tools compare head-to-head here.

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Isobel is a writer at Tech.co with a wealth of experience covering business and technology news. Since specializing in Digital Anthropology at University College London (UCL), she’s been a regular contributor to Market Finance’s blog and has also spent time working as a freelance tech researcher. As a writer, Isobel takes a particular interest in issues regarding data security, social media, and emerging business technology.

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