Microsoft Teams is now available for Linux users in public preview, Microsoft announced Tuesday, a move that makes Linux the first Microsoft Office app coming to Linux desktops.
Linux will support all of Teams’ core functions, including chat, video meetings, calling, collaboration on documents and other business processes.
In a blog post, Microsoft said most of its customers already have device running on a variety of platforms like Windows 10, Linux and others.
“We are committed to supporting mixed environments across our cloud and productivity offerings, and with this announcement, we are pleased to extend the Teams experience to Linux users,” Microsoft wrote. “It’s also an exciting opportunity for developers who have built apps for Teams to be able to grow their reach to this new set of users.”
Linux users can download native Linux packages in .deb and .rpm formats.
Microsoft said it has been working with customers over the past few months to help streamline their collaboration using the Teams client for Linux.
The blog cited an example from Volvo Cars, which said its Linux users have been stuck on a “collaboration island” using different unofficial and unsupported clients for Skype for Business and recently Teams.
“With Teams for Linux from Microsoft, we have been able to leave that island and collaborate across our different platforms with the full functionality of a rich client,” said Jimmy Beckman, a service manager at Volvo. “If I should point out one thing, being able to participate in screen sharing is a huge improvement for the Linux users at Volvo Cars.
In a statement, Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation, called 2019 an incredible year in open source with the operating system at the heart of the growth and innovation.
With this announcement, Microsoft is bringing its hub for teamwork to Linux,” he said. “I’m thrilled to see Microsoft’s recognition of how companies and educational institutions alike are using Linux to transform their work culture.”