Microsoft Teams, the popular communication and collaboration platform, has received a major redesign aimed at improving its performance and reducing its memory usage. According to the company, the revamped Teams app is up to two times faster than its predecessor and uses 50 percent less memory.
In a blog post, Microsoft claims that the redesign considers all user feedback and the new Teams application focuses on “speed, performance, flexibility, and intelligence,” boosted by AI-powered experiences such as Copilot announced earlier this month.
The redesigned Teams app offers a range of new features and improvements that are designed to make the platform more user-friendly and efficient. One of the most significant changes is the faster launch time, which is now up to twice as fast as the previous version. Additionally, connecting to video calls is now faster and smoother, thanks to improved performance and reduced memory usage. Joining meetings is expected to be twice as fast, and switching between chats and channels is said to be 1.7 times faster, claims Microsoft. Furthermore, the company redesigned the user experience as a whole.
Another notable improvement in the new Teams app is its smoother scrolling functionality. According to Microsoft, the redesigned app no longer uses placeholder assets, which can often cause slow scrolling and other performance issues. As a result, users can now scroll through their Teams conversations and messages much more smoothly and easily.
Microsoft also claims to have optimized the Teams data, network, chat, and video architecture. A substantial amount of this improvement is also due to the app’s switch from Electron to Microsoft’s Edge WebView 2 rendering engine. Microsoft mentions that it switched from AngularJS to React as the framework for web development for Teams and standardized on Microsoft’s Fluent UI UX control system.
The canvas color has been modified from grey to white, and the trademark purple Teams color has been toned down. Microsoft has made emojis more cohesive across Microsoft 365. New Teams backgrounds, group profile picture additions, and group theming will be available later this year.
The newly unveiled Microsoft Loop is used in the new Teams app. Users can now work on a Loop element directly within Teams chats without having to quit the app. The new Teams also claims to serve as the foundation for next-generation AI experiences, such as smart recap and Copilot for Microsoft Teams, according to the company.
Moreover, the company has also improved its authentication model, synchronization, and notification systems in order to offer a streamlined and stable experience for users with organizations that involve multiple tenants and accounts. Instead of logging in and out of different tenants and accounts, users can now stay signed in to all of them and receive notifications irrespective of which one they are using at a given time.
Microsoft stated in its January earnings report that Teams had 280 million monthly active users. The company intends to make this latest edition of Teams available to all users subsequently this year, but it will be immediately accessible to Windows users who sign up for the company’s Public Preview programme, though an administrator may need to enable this for the users’ organization first.
Users are also able to easily switch between the newer and older versions of Teams if needed. Microsoft emphasizes that users will constantly be able to return to the previous Teams experience, at least for now. The company also confirmed that later this year, Mac support will be added.
In addition to these new features, Microsoft has also announced that a new Mac app for Teams is in the works and will be available soon. The company has not provided a specific release date for the Mac app, but it has promised that it will offer the same level of performance and functionality as the redesigned Windows app.