Microsoft Teams has rolled out a new public beta version that transitions away from Electron technology and adopts WebView technology (using WebView 2 in Windows 10/11). According to Microsoft, the new version of Teams boasts significant improvements in speed, performance, flexibility, and intelligence, resulting in a twofold increase in performance and a 50% reduction in memory usage. The updated user experience has been simplified to make all features more easily accessible from one place.
The new Teams aims to save time and enhance collaboration efficiency. As part of this effort, the updated software lays the groundwork for new AI-driven experiences, such as the recently announced “Copilot for Microsoft Teams.” This feature is designed to leverage AI to assist users in understanding what occurred prior to joining a meeting or chat, as well as answering questions during discussions to help users maintain workflow.
The updates in the public beta version are part of Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to providing a more streamlined and feature-rich experience for users. For example, the company has implemented enhancements to the core Teams experience that make it easier to manage notifications, search for information, handle messages, and organize channels, all with fewer clicks.
Microsoft recognizes that many organizations have multiple tenants and accounts, and significant investments have been made to support these scenarios. Improvements to the authentication model, synchronization, and notification systems provide a seamless and consistent experience for users. The update also accommodates users who need to collaborate across organizational boundaries, sometimes using Teams in multiple tenants or accounts. Users no longer need to log in and out between different tenants and accounts, and they can stay logged in and receive notifications regardless of which tenant or account they are currently using.
Microsoft plans to officially release the new Teams later in 2023. In the meantime, the company is encouraging commercial customers using Windows to try out the public beta version, which is launching today. A preview version will be released to a broader customer base later this year, including Mac users.
While public beta users can immediately access the new Teams, a wider range of commercial customers will need their administrators to opt in before they can use it. Users will then see a simple toggle switch to switch to the new Teams, with the option to switch back to the classic Teams at any time.
Overall, the introduction of the public beta based on WebView technology marks a significant milestone in the evolution of Microsoft Teams, promising to deliver a faster and more efficient collaboration experience to users worldwide.
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