Microsoft said on Thursday that video calls and the educational use of its team productivity software have increased in recent weeks as employees work remotely and some North American schools cancel face-to-face classes for the rest of the year. academic.
Microsoft said that videoconferencing, which competes with applications like Slack Technologies and Zoom Video Communications, increased by 1,000% in March, but without specifying an absolute number. The company said the proportion of meetings and calls that included video more than doubled, from 21% to 43% in March.
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Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, said that Microsoft data shows the use of interleaved video throughout the workday.
"We will see outbreaks in team videoconferencing, but then we will see people go offline and do a lot of work on chat and documents, and then they will come back," he said.
Microsoft also said that 183,000 educational organizations, each of which may include multiple schools, in 175 countries were now using their Teams for education, although it did not provide an earlier baseline.
The total minutes spent on meetings by all Teams users reached 2.7 billion on March 31, Microsoft said, tripling the 900 million minutes on March 19.
With billions of people worldwide under confinement measures to slow the spread of coronavirus, remote work and learning tools have grown rapidly.
Zoom videoconferencing platform is the target of questions after 'pumping' with the beginning of the coronavirus isolation period – Photo: Disclosure
On end-to-end encryption messaging service Wickr, for example, which offers fully encrypted video calls with up to 50 participants, company sales have more than doubled each week for a month, said Chief Executive Joel Wallenstrom.
Wickr typically serves executives or security teams at a large company who want their encryption to discuss financial or government secrets.
"We had a customer with 150 main users," said Wallenstrom. "But since there was not much to do outside the office, they went to 80,000 in two weeks."
Slack said last month that users connected simultaneously increased to 12.5 million on March 25, from 10 million on March 10.
Zoom's meeting attendance per day increased to more than 200 million in March, compared to a previous maximum total of 10 million. None of the numbers are directly comparable to each other or to Microsoft's.
But Zoom's rise has sparked a global reaction to security and privacy issues, with Alphabet's Google this week banning the use of its desktop application by employees and a California school district suspending the use of Zoom after a intruder exposed himself and shouted racial slurs during a video conference of high school students.