What would it be like if Microsoft Teams were integrated into Outlook? Microsoft is not only working on a Teams-Outlook integration, but it’s also working on a series of other features that will make your work-life easier and your workday more efficient.

Microsoft Teams and Outlook are among the most commonly used online communication and collaboration platforms among organizations that have invested in Microsoft’s suite of software products. While Teams and Outlook already have a bare-bones integration, so to speak, the upcoming integration is expected to be significantly more seamless. And the new features will only add to the facile front-ends.

Key facts

  • Microsoft is growing Teams beyond the company’s established business base by adding employee-friendly features to the product.
  • In 2022, Microsoft Teams reached 270 million users, up from 145 million reported users in 2021.
  • More than 60% of the Fortune 500 have opted to use Microsoft Teams Rooms, says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
  • Microsoft Teams is available in 181 countries and 44 different languages.

Earlier today, Microsoft announced that it plans to integrate Teams chat into Outlook. The new setup is currently in the testing phase. The software giant says that the feature will be accessible to all users in March of 2023.

“This feature provides an easy Teams chat experience from Outlook in the context of a meeting, for participants to send a quick message or review the chat,” Microsoft wrote on its roadmap for productivity and cloud services.

Teams Outlook integration

At present, the new chat integration seems to be limited to Outlook calendar items. Microsoft anticipates that it will be useful for meeting organizers and participants in discussing meeting information in real-time, as opposed to sending a series of emails back and forth.

Microsoft Teams concept art
Microsoft Teams, general outline of platform.

Teams messages are also expected to be available in Outlook-on-the-web search results. This design element is planned for February. Alongside it, Teams will support AI-based file suggestions that will appear in Teams chats, and that will operate along the lines of the ‘suggested replies’ feature, which offers possible responses to chat messages.

Another update includes an expanded view for the Teams profile cards, which will support a view modality that shows a person’s profile, contact data, LinkedIn information and more.

Microsoft Teams development

Microsoft has developed more than 450 new features for Teams in the last year; a rate of more than one per day. To review a few of the higher-profile features, Microsoft Teams now allows for scheduled send, instant polls in meetings, improved search results and provides an ‘unread’ toggle for messages.

And of course, earlier this month, Microsoft launched Teams Communities. The goal of Teams Communities is to provide users with greater ability to collaborate on shared projects that have a community focus. The intended user-base includes committees, council meetings, parent-teacher associations, sports teams and other community focused entities.

Integration concerns

Although Microsoft continues to improve Teams at regular intervals, the company also seeks to resolve antitrust concerns around the bundling of Outlook and Teams.

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