Microsoft has unveiled a new app for its collaboration platform Microsoft Teams that it said will deliver faster performance and streamline the user experience.
First launched in 2017, Microsoft Teams is a collaborative workspace within Microsoft 365/Office 365 that acts as a central hub for workplace conversations, collaborative teamwork, video chats and document sharing. Microsoft claims the app, which has been criticized for hogging resources, has 280 million monthly users, and 1,900 apps that integrate directly with it.
Microsoft said the changes to Teams unveiled on Monday make it faster, simpler, more flexible, and smarter, with Jeff Teper, president of collaborative apps and platforms at Microsoft writing in a blog post: “We have been listening to your feedback which has culminated in a reimagining of Teams from the ground up,” the companies president of collaborative apps and platforms, Jeff Teper, wrote in a blog post.
According to Teper, the new Microsoft Teams app is designed to be “twice as fast while using half the system resources.” To do this, Microsoft has re-architected its platform, moving away from the combination of custom HTML/CSS and now-deprecated AngularJS that Teams was initially built on and instead layering Fluent UI on React, and moving data processing over to a client data layer. Microsoft has also changed technology on the host side, transitioning from Electron to WebView2.
This halved the time needed to launch theapp and to join a meeting, with memory consumption also decreasing by half, according to test results by independent benchmarking firm GigaOm provided by Microsoft.
In addition, Microsoft has made it simpler to manage notifications, search for information, and manage messages within Teams by reducing the number of clicks necessary to access this information. It has also made changes to the platform’s authentication model, synchronization, and notification systems. This means that customers who use Teams across multiple tenants or accounts can now stay signed in across them all and receive notifications no matter which one they are currently using.
Building on the AI capabilities Microsoft rolled out with its Teams Premium subscription tier, the newly overhauled Microsoft Teams app will include intelligent recap and Copilot for Microsoft Teams, which was first announced in early March 2022.
Microsoft expects to make the new Teams publicly available later this year, but commercial customers using Windows can already access the public preview.