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Microsoft Teams. (Microsoft Photo)

Microsoft’s play to become the tech provider of choice for so-called “first-line workers” — people in fields like retail, hospitality and manufacturing — is taking another step forward with a set of new features for its collaboration app, Teams.

These new features are designed to help workers better communicate with each other and allow companies to manage access to important information and give feedback. The new features further build on a capability unveiled last year to let workers manage and swap schedules.

A few of the new Teams features for first-line workers. (Microsoft Photo)

Here is a look at the new features for Teams:

  • Starting today, a new customizable mobile experience comes with a series of features specifically for workers on the go, such as location sharing, smart camera and the ability to record and share audio messages.
  • Teams will now include a template to help IT managers grant individual employees access to the features they need.
  • Microsoft is working on a set of APIs, which will debut in public preview later this quarter, that will allow companies to integrate workforce management tools that handle things like scheduling and payroll directly into Teams.
  • Coming later this quarter, Microsoft is enabling a Praise feature, which allows employers to call out important contributions from workers.
The new Praise feature. (Microsoft Photo)

Microsoft says there are more than 2 billion first-line workers out there waiting for better tech solutions. Microsoft’s push to bring these workers, and their employers, into its vast ecosystem extends beyond Teams.

The HoloLens mixed reality headset is an important part of this effort, and last year the company released a pair of apps to help workers in the field and space planners.

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