Microsoft has officially launched its revamped Teams app for Windows and Mac, marking a significant milestone in the platform’s evolution. Anupam Pattnaik, in a blog post, revealed that the new Teams app aims to be “faster, simpler, smarter, and more flexible,” addressing the evolving needs of both individual and enterprise users. Let’s dive into the features and improvements that make this launch noteworthy.
Enhanced Performance: More Speed, Less Memory
One of the most significant upgrades is the performance boost. Built on the React framework and using Edge WebView2 as the host, the new Teams app has managed to cut memory usage and disk space by up to 50%. According to an independent report by GigaOm, the app is on average two times faster when loading, joining meetings, and switching between chats and channels.
Mac users also benefit from the revamp, witnessing substantial performance improvements, including faster chat and channel switching, and a more efficient use of device resources. This optimization is especially useful when using multiple high-resolution monitors during calls or meetings.
User Experience: Doing More in Fewer Clicks
Microsoft has streamlined the user experience, offering more control over the user interface. The new Teams app now automatically picks light or dark mode based on your system settings and has improved support for color-sensitive users. This is all part of a broader initiative to enhance personalization and make Teams more inclusive.
New Teams also rolls out features like “mark all as read” in both activity feeds and chats or channels. The app has also been optimized for those who rely on keyboard shortcuts or screen readers, making Teams more accessible than ever.
Cross-Tenant Communication: Breaking Down Silos
The new Teams app introduces multi-tenant organizations (MTO) and multi-tenant, multi-account (MTMA) capabilities. These features aim to enhance cross-tenant communication and collaboration, a boon for organizations managing multiple tenants due to mergers, acquisitions, or global operations. MTO functionality allows users to connect and collaborate across multiple tenants, breaking down organizational silos and creating a seamless experience.
AI-Powered Productivity: Meet Copilot
The new Teams app serves as the foundation for next-gen AI experiences, notably Microsoft Copilot. Copilot works alongside you in real-time during meetings to summarize key discussion points and suggest action items. It can even sift through data across various Microsoft services using Microsoft Graph to bring all relevant information into your Teams app.
Seamless Transition: One-Click Upgrade
Migrating to the new Teams app is hassle-free. Classic Teams users will be automatically upgraded in the coming months, and you can manually switch by flipping a toggle in the classic Teams app.
Public Response and Future Plans
The new Teams app has generally been well-received. However, users have raised concerns about feature parity and corporate policy limitations, particularly with the app now being available in the Play Store. Despite these issues, the overall sentiment is one of excitement and anticipation for the new features and capabilities that will be exclusively available in the new Teams app moving forward.
The Road Ahead
Microsoft’s new Teams app for Windows and Mac appears to be a major step forward in meeting the diversified needs of today’s workforce. With performance boosts, improved user experience, and new features aimed at enhancing productivity and collaboration, the new Teams app is poised to redefine how we work in a digitally connected world.