Microsoft Teams breaks daily record with 2.7 billion meeting minutes, a peak of 200% in mid-March

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The change in remote work driven by COVID-19 continues to drive the explosive growth of companies providing the tools and platforms to connect people remotely.

The latest proof of this trend comes from Microsoft, which announced today that Microsoft Teams had set a new daily record of 2.7 billion meeting minutes, up 200% from the 900 million minutes recorded on 16 March, when numerous blockages had just entered into force.

The company previously reported that Microsoft Teams, which launched worldwide in March 2017, exceeded 44 million daily active users in mid-March, after exceeding 32 million DAU earlier in the month. In November, the company had 20 million disk allocation units. Microsoft did not update the DAU number in this latest report.

The surge has caused some functionality issues for Microsoft Teams, although these issues appear to have been resolved.

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The latest figures come as Microsoft faces intense competition from Zoom, which revealed last week that its daily users had grown to more than 200 million in March, up from 10 million three months ago. However, there are growing signs of backlash against Zoom, due to some questionable security and privacy practices.

Although Zoom has promised to solve them, it could create a competitive opening for Microsoft.

At the end of last month, Microsoft released several new consumer features for teams. Today, he announced a few more designed to improve meeting management and close the gap with some popular features already available on Zoom.

Microsoft has said that custom backgrounds are now generally available in Teams and that the ability to upload custom images will arrive in November. The “raise your hand” feature is expected to be introduced globally this month. Meeting organizers can now end a session for everyone with one click. And the organizers will also be able to download reports that follow participation, for example when each person enters and leaves a meeting.

Later this year, Microsoft plans to introduce real-time AI-based noise suppression to reduce background noise.

The future of work

Microsoft has also released a new report called Work Trend Index. The index relies on signals that the company tracks through its products, including Microsoft 365, Bing, LinkedIn and other productivity tools, to monitor changes in work habits and productivity.

Among the first results, users are now twice as likely to activate the video in Teams than a month ago, which indicates a desire to feel more connected. Microsoft said the total number of video calls increased by 1,000% in March. While the Norwegians and the Netherlands used video for 60% of their calls, India has only seen 22% of video usage, possibly due to differences in available connectivity.

Microsoft has also seen a large increase in the number of streaming events on Teams and the amount of usage on mobile phones. And it had a larger gap between the first and last calls of the day, possibly due to more flexibility in user schedules.

The degree of permanence of these changes at the end of the coronavirus crisis is an open question. But current locks certainly expose many more people to work and distance learning options.

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