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Remote work: This is how fast Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 are growing

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Remote work: This is how fast Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 are growing

Microsoft announced a number of new milestones during its FY21 Q3 earnings call on 27 April, with Microsoft's communications lead, Frank Shaw, revealing that there are now 1.3 billion monthly active devices running Windows 10.

On top of that, its remote-meeting and group-work platform, Teams, now has 145 million daily users, up from 115 million in October 2020 , and almost double the figure from one year ago, when Teams had 75 million daily users. Needless to say, our increased reliance on cloud software and video meetings over the past twelve or so months has driven much of this increase.

As expected, Microsoft's cloud services generally fared well across the board. The company's productivity and business processes unit recorded revenue of $13.6bn, an increase of 15% compared to a year ago, while Office Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 14%.

According to Shaw, Microsoft 365 users clocked more than 38 billion collaboration minutes in a single day in the most recent quarter, and Microsoft 365 Consumer surpassed 50 million subscribers for the first time. Meanwhile, Office 365 now has just shy of 300 million paid subscriptions.

Teams has undoubtedly been Microsoft's biggest success story of the past year. As professionals continue working remotely in light of COVID restrictions, businesses have turned to Microsoft's collaboration and video-meeting app to keep teams connected and work flowing. As a consequence, Microsoft has ensured a steady stream of updates and improvements to Teams – most recently new emojis, improved content-sharing capabilities and a new Presenter View, to name a few – in an effort to maintain its lead over rival platforms like Zoom.

Zoom CTO Brendan Ittelson told TechRepublic in March that the company did not anticipate a marked decrease in the number of people logging into video calls as people begin returning to the office. Microsoft appears equally unworried: "In markets where employees have returned to the workplace, we have seen usage continue to grow," said Shaw.

Even so, the effects of excessive video meetings are, by this point, well documented, with many remote workers reporting feelings of burnout and exhaustion after spending so much time smiling awkwardly into a computer screen and generally going extended bouts without face-to-face interactions.

To its credit, Microsoft is aware of the issues that not just video meetings, but remote-working technology as a whole, bring. In a recent interview with TechRepublic, Jeff Teper, corporate VP at Microsoft, acknowledged that presenteeism had become a problem now that 'showing up' for work has become so closely tied to how often you show your face in a meeting.

"My goal is not to get everybody on the planet in Teams meetings all day long," Teper told TechRepublic. "We're not trying to attention-hack people into spending more time in meetings." 

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