Microsoft has announced that a number of popular features from its Teams video conferencing suite will now be available to more users.

In an effort to appeal to small businesses, the company has added background effects to the web version of Teams, meaning users will no longer have to download the desktop client or mobile app to access it.

These effects include the ability to blur the background and add custom wallpaper behind the speaker, which Microsoft says should make calls "more fun and personal."

This comes less than two weeks after Microsoft released machine learning updates for its AI-powered audio improvements, including echo and reverb reduction.

Accessibility improvements to Microsoft Teams

In addition to having access to background effects, Teams on the web users will now be able to follow meetings in real time with CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) captions in the Teams window.

Previously, CART closed captions opened in a new window, making it difficult to simultaneously view call participants and live transcripts.

Additionally, additional languages ​​have been added to live captions along with speaker attribution in Teams Online. Now that it supports 27 languages, including Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, and Hindi, Microsoft hopes this will boost participation in meetings.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Finally, Live Transcription also supports a much wider range of languages. This accessibility tool promises to help participants who are hard of hearing and those with limited language skills.

Participants who are late for the call, and even those who are absent, can catch up on previous chats using the live transcription feature, as long as it has been enabled by the call administrator.

Currently, live transcripts are available to customers with the following accounts: Office 365 E1, Office 365 A1, Office 365/Microsoft 365 A3, Office 365/Microsoft 365 A5, Microsoft 365 E3, Microsoft 365 E5, Microsoft 365 F1, Office 365/Microsoft 365 F3, Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Microsoft 365 Business Standard, and Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

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