Microsoft Announces a New Teams Client (2.0) To Be Integrated Into Windows 11

Perhaps the boldest move was the company's decision to integrate Teams directly into Windows 11.

Microsoft Announces a New Teams Client (2.0) To Be Integrated Into Windows 11

On the 24th of June 2021, Microsoft announced the next version of their PC operating system, Windows 11. The new Windows OS includes a rejuvenated Start menu and a slew of new features focused on improving productivity across multiple devices, leveraging Microsoft’s cloud services. Users will also be able to run Android apps on their PCs via the Amazon app store.

But perhaps the boldest move was the company’s decision to integrate Teams directly into Windows 11. The new Microsoft Teams chat, call, and meet client will be integrated into the Windows 11 taskbar, allowing users to connect with anyone else via voice, video, or text, irrespective of the platform or device they are on.

According to Microsoft officials, the goal is to provide a faster way for users to connect with their contacts. Here’s everything you need to know about Windows 11 and its default video conferencing app, Microsoft Teams 2.0.

Faster Communication with Teams

The Windows 11 launch comes shortly after the PC returned to the center of technology experience for most people amid Covid-19 stay-at-home orders, lockdowns, and other restrictions. According to Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, Windows 11 provides a system that molds to the users’ needs, not the other way around. The ability to sync content, apps, and contacts across devices and platforms via Teams goes a long way.

As demonstrated by Microsoft in its online unveiling, Teams will appear as an icon in the Windows 11 Taskbar. Integrating Microsoft Teams on the Taskbar is aimed at helping users start a chat or video call more quickly. Windows 11 users will also be able to mute or unmute calls directly from the Taskbar. Other than Windows 11, users can also reach out to contacts on other platforms, including Android and iOS, via Teams.

Does that mean contacts need to have Microsoft Teams installed on their device to receive your messages? Not really. If a contact doesn’t have Teams installed on their device, Windows 11 users can still reach out to them via SMS messaging. Recipients have the option to reply via two-way SMS or download and install the Teams app on a device of their choice, which would make things easier.

Teams in Windows 11 Is More Consumer-Oriented

Microsoft placing a Teams Chat button on the Taskbar in Windows 11 allows the company to expose more business users to the fact that Teams has consumer features. This new feature is targeting consumer users rather than enterprise customers. In fact, some of Microsoft Team’s offerings on Windows 11, including chat, video calls, collaboration tools, meetings, etc., will not work with work or school accounts.

To access these features, enterprise customers will have to download the collaboration platform from Microsoft 365 and access it from a work or school account. The launch of Windows 11 with the Microsoft Teams as the default video conferencing app comes not so long after Microsoft introduced Skype “Meet Now” button for Windows 10. The company says that the Meet Now using Skype will continue to be available for as long as Windows 10.

As expected, Microsoft bundling Teams with Windows 11 didn’t bode well with competitors, with Slack issuing a statement condemning this decision. However, even with both Skype and Teams buttons on the Taskbar on Windows 10 and 11, Microsoft emphasizes that Windows users can still opt for third-party video conferencing and collaboration apps such as Zoom and Slack.

Microsoft Teams 2.0 – A Welcome Upgrade

Microsoft also announced that it’s working on a redesigned version of Teams for Windows 11 that will also work on Windows 10. The new Teams client is currently being referred to as Microsoft Teams 2.0. There are a few notable differences between the existing video conferencing software and the new Teams app. For starters, Microsoft Teams 2.0 is based on Edge WebView2 instead of Electron.

Edge WebView2 allows Microsoft to take advantage of embedded web technologies such as JavaScript, CSS, and HTML along with the Chromium rendering engine. As a result, the new Teams client will consume less memory than the older version, and tests show a significant increase in performance. Thanks to the inclusion of the Chromium engine, Teams 2.0 is significantly faster on desktop and runs smoothly on low-end devices.

With old Teams client, users frequently get stuck on the loading screen due to Microsoft Edge background processes. That’s no longer the case. Tests in a preview version of Windows 11 show that Teams 2.0 launches instantly. Another key benefit of Teams 2.0 is that it allows users to resize windows with the interface scaling alongside it automatically, something you can’t do with the current Teams client.

When it comes to appearance, Microsoft Teams 2.0 mostly looks the same as the existing app with a few differences. For instance, Microsoft has removed the browser’s extension and the main menu to give Teams 2.0 a more native look and experience.

Microsoft Teams Is Not Preinstalled On Windows 11

Note that Microsoft Teams is not preinstalled on Windows 11, which is surprising given that Microsoft is positioning the new PC operating system as the best platform for hybrid /remote work computing. Instead, users who want to access Teams’ features will have to download the Microsoft Teams app from the Windows app store. Microsoft officials already confirmed that the Teams app would be in the new Microsoft store.

As you can see, Microsoft Teams will be an integral part of the upcoming Windows 11 release. According to Microsoft officials, the main reason for integrating Teams into Windows 11 is to make digital connections easier. Teams 2.0 comes with additional features and improvements to facilitate faster, efficient communication. For instance, the new Microsoft Teams client will consume less memory and run more smoothly on low-end devices.

Windows 11 is at least half a year away from commercial release. However, there’s still a lot of confusion regarding Windows 11 and Microsoft Teams integration and how the two will work together to improve collaboration. ECW Network & IT Solutions can help clear up some of the details. Schedule a free consultation with ECW to learn more about Windows 11.

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