Microsoft Updates Teams with 'Who' App and App Store Search

Microsoft on Monday began rolling out new collaboration capabilities to users of its Office 365 Teams chat service.

One new feature is a searchable app store for Teams users. They can search for apps by category, app name or type ("Bots, Tabs or Connectors"), according to Microsoft's announcement.

The applications in the library are built by Microsoft or its partners. Examples include Microsoft's AzureBot in the store, which lets users start and stop Azure virtual machines. An Adobe Creative Cloud app in the store lets creators share content in Teams conversations. There are BitBucket applications for developers, helping them to collaborate on building software versions.

Microsoft also is making it easier to include content from applications in Teams conversations. For instance, a user can conduct a search in the Adobe Creative Cloud app and then insert those search results into a Teams "chat or channel conversation." When doing such actions, the user is said to "command apps from the command box" in Teams, according to Microsoft's description. Users can see a list of applications that can be queried in this way by typing the "@" symbol within Teams' command box.

Another new shortcut rolling out to Teams users is the use of the slash ("/") symbol. Typing it in the Teams command box will show "a list of commands currently available." Users might use the slash command to quickly indicate their office status as being "away," for instance.

Teams now provides a view of your personal apps. The display pops up after clicking the three dots ("...") on the left-side menu.

Microsoft also added a new "Who" application in Teams. It uses the underlying Microsoft Graph search technology of Office 365 to let end users search for people within an organization, either by topic or name. The Who app is the finalized version of the Who bot that Microsoft previewed in Teams over a year ago, according to a Microsoft spokesperson.

The new Teams features announced Monday will arrive turned on by default, according to the spokesperson, and end users will have access to the store apps. IT pros have some controls over access, though.

"Apps are enabled by default, but we provide granular controls for IT pros to enable or disable apps," the spokesperson explained.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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