September 30, 2023

Microsoft on Monday said it is rolling out a snappy new version of its Teams communications app for Windows to business customers enrolled in a preview program. The software will become available to all customers later this year, and Microsoft also promises new versions of Teams for Mac and Web.

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Since the beginning of 2017, Teams has become the jewel of Microsoft 365, the subscription-based productivity software bundle formerly known as Office 365. Companies have rushed to adopt Teams to keep workers connected via video calls and text chats during the Covid pandemic. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in January that more than 280 million people use Teams every month, even as many workers are coming back to offices.

Microsoft Teams had some performance issues in 2020, which company resolved, In 2021, with Teams use still growing, Microsoft begins building a second generation of the software with an eye toward improving performance, Jeff Tepper, president of collaborative apps and platforms at Microsoft, said in an interview with CNBC. .

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reports A new version of Teams operationalized earlier this year. Tepper said this prompted “a lot of agitation”, but he did not want Microsoft to announce an update until the program had achieved an internal goal of being twice as fast while using half the memory as before. have done.

The new version also includes enhancements made to simplify Teams more than 400 The feature updates Microsoft delivered last year were some of them meant to help Microsoft catch up with rivals, Tepper said. comes from the likes of the competition cisco, Google, sales force-The famous Slack and zoom,

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Instead of displaying a sort of ribbon of actions for chat, Teams will hide a number of options behind a plus sign that people can click on. Tepper said it’s a concept that people have become accustomed to with other messaging applications. For example, in Slack, users can upload a document or set a reminder after clicking the plus sign under the field where they type a message.

During a Teams video call, the software will show each participant in the same size box on the screen instead of giving participants more space with cameras. Tepper said that so far, Teams’ calls sometimes resemble Piet Mondrian paintings, with squares and rectangles of varying sizes and colors.

Microsoft is also adjusting Teams so that people who belong to more than one organization can more easily stay on top of what’s happening.

“Instead of logging in and out of different tenants and accounts, you can now stay signed in to all of them — getting notifications, no matter which one you use,” Tepper wrote in a blog post. are doing.”

Corporate employees gaining access to the new version of Teams will see a switch at the top of the application window that will enable them to go back to what Microsoft calls the classic version, they wrote in the blog post.

Watch: Satya Nadella reflects on his nine years leading Microsoft