Microsoft has rolled out several new features for the free version of communication and collaboration platform Teams, most notably the ability to set a new custom background.
The custom background feature is similar to one that Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms offer that gives users the ability to make their background in a video meeting anything they want it to be if it can be uploaded from a digital file. This helps hide unsightly things behind you – like a messy room, dirty kitchen or a blank, boring wall.
This comes after the company recently released a background blur feature that simply distorts the background rather than display another image altogether. The company also previously created a collection of preset images that range from a professional office setting to a cartoonish beach scene.
Now, users can upload their own images or images from private companies made available for this specific use, the Microsoft said in an official blog.
“No need for a green screen, or even a blank wall. Teams uses a highly trained model that differentiates the subject from their background and can impose a custom background over everything else, making it easy and fast to start expressing yourself in all your meetings.”
Other new features
Microsoft in the blog announced it is rolling out other new features for free users in addition to custom backgrounds, including:
- Scheduling meetings in advance. Meeting schedules can either copy the meeting link to send directly to other users in advance or send an invite via Outlook or Google Calendar.
- Live captions. Free users can no turn on live captions during meetings and calls, which Microsoft says can make meetings more inclusive and give users another way to follow along if they need special attention.