Microsoft is launching the public preview of a new Microsoft Teams app for Windows that the company says is twice as fast and uses half the system resources, the result of a ground-up investment designed to overhaul the platform to optimize the data, network, chat and video architecture for speed and performance.
The company says the new Teams app is faster, simpler, more flexible and smarter than the exiting app, and it has already seen “very promising data” even from the public preview build rolling out today.
In a blog, Jeff Teper, president of collaborative apps and platforms at Microsoft, says the company is working with independent benchmarking firm GigaOm to quantify some of the performance gains, and the results indicate that both launching the app and joining a meeting are already twice as fast. In addition, memory consumption has decreased by half when testing the new Teams preview compared with the classic Teams app.
In a separate Tech Community blog, Microsoft says installation will also be three times faster, and the app will consume up to 70% less disk space.
In addition to being faster, the new Teams app is designed to be easier to use while maintaining a feature-rich experience. The redesign makes it easier for users to stay on top of notifications, search for information, manage messages and organize channels, Teper says.
To better support large organizations with multiple tenants and accounts, Microsoft made a major investment in supporting those scenarios, including an improved authentication model, synchronization and notification systems designed for a seamless and consistent experiences, Teper says.
“For example, many customers need to collaborate with people across organizational boundaries, which sometimes means they use Teams across multiple tenants or accounts,” Teper writes in the blog. “Instead of logging in and out of different tenants and accounts, you can now stay signed in across them all—receiving notifications no matter which one you are currently using.”
Microsoft is also adding new AI capabilities to the new Teams app, which will also include the previously announce intelligent recap and Copilot for Microsoft Teams that leverage OpenAI language models. These tools are designed to help users get up to speed on what happened before they joined a meeting or chat and give users answers to questions in the flow of the discussion.
“We’re only just beginning to see the potential of AI inside of Teams, and we will have lots more to share in the future,” Teper says.
For IT admins, Microsoft is making the new Teams app easier to manage and help streamline the distribution of the Teams desktop app on Windows devices, removing the complexity of user installation.
The new app also allows IT managers to leverage application management tools like Microsoft Intune to deploy and update the app. In addition, admins can leverage Intune’s support of MSIX applications to client devices through the client app model, making installing and uninstalling an MSIX-packaged app silent.
IT pros can define when a user gets updates to an MSIX and whether the update will be silent, making the new app more reliable while reducing network usage and disks space.
For security, Microsoft is implementing advanced security measures such as trusted Types and a more stringent Content Security Policy that results in increased protection against cross-site scripting attacks. The MSIX packaging format also helps ensure that Teams is protected by Windows security features and that the app is up to date.
Organizations in the public preview program will have immediate access to the “Try the new Teams” toggle in the top left corner of the app. Those in the Targeted Release program will have access to the preview of new Teams starting mid-April 2023. Those in production will have the option to opt-in by using the Teams update management policy to select which users in the organization can see the toggle and get access to new Teams.
Read the announcement blog or the Tech Community blog to learn more.
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