Remote Work During Coronavirus Outbreak Leads Millions To Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Corp’s Teams chat and conference app gained more than 12 million daily users in a week, a jump of 37.5%, as more people work from home during the coronavirus pandemic, the company reported Thursday.
Teams had 44 million users on March 18, Microsoft said, more than double the 20 million daily active users that the software company reported in November. Teams users grew from 32 million to 44 million in the period between March 11 and March 18 alone, as many other American companies asked employees to work from home, Microsoft said.
There were no comparable recent figures for Teams’ main rival, the collaborative app Slack Technologies Inc, which said in October that it had 12 million daily active users.
Slack did not update that figure during its earnings announcement on March 12, but detailed that four of its five largest contracts in the last quarter were won by Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft also rolled out a number of features designed to help with telemedicine and work from home, such as a booking app for Teams to help hospitals manage virtual appointments.
“As organizations around the world are changing the way they work in response to the situation [por el coronavirus], we are going to learn a lot, ”said Satya Nadella, Microsoft executive director, in a virtual press conference.
Microsoft charges companies for its full version of Teams, but there is a free version that can be used by users.
Microsoft said Thursday that doctors at the University of St. Luke’s Health Network in Pennsylvania, who have already been using the Teams app, will begin using it for videoconferencing with patients, including those vulnerable to the new coronavirus, to protect patients and hospital. This week, Slack reported that it put its free service to many organizations working to respond to or mitigate the coronavirus and that they were speeding up preparation time for new customers.
Microsoft is also working on several new features using artificial intelligence that can make working from home easier for Teams users.
A feature can automatically replace the background during a video conference, for example by cutting out cropping a messy room and replacing it with an image of a neat business office. Another feature can filter out background sounds during a conference call, such as the crunch of a plastic bag of potato chips.