Microsoft has announced a significant update to its Teams app for Windows. According to the company, the AI-powered app is now twice as fast than before, while also using half as much memory and providing a more streamlined experience. The overhauled app also offers smoother scrolling while avoiding the use of placeholder assets. At the same time, Microsoft says the new Teams uses 50 percent less memory and 70 percent less disk space.
Are you ready for the new Teams? It’s faster, simpler, smarter, and more flexible than ever. Read more: https://t.co/iwasoNxVmT #MicrosoftTeams pic.twitter.com/ogQ7IvQJfG
— Microsoft Teams (@MicrosoftTeams) March 27, 2023
As mentioned in the Microsoft blog, the new Teams app launches up to 2X faster and enables you to join meetings up to 2X faster. It has been optimized for more efficient use of system resources, using up to 50% less memory. It adds support for users that collaborate across organizations and manage multiple work or school accounts. You can be signed into multiple organizations and accounts simultaneously and receive notifications for all your accounts, no matter which one is currently in use. The new Teams also ensures simplified IT management and enhanced data security.
The company says it optimized the Teams data, network, chat and video architecture to achieve this. A significant part of this enhancement also results from the app’s transition from Electron to Microsoft’s Edge WebView 2 rendering engine. Microsoft also notes that it moved from using AngularJS as the web development framework for Teams to React for building the user interface and standardized on Microsoft’s Fluent UI UX controls.
“When the development of Teams began in 2015, these choices enabled the rapid delivery of cross-platform web and desktop clients,” the company’s corporate VP of engineering, Sumi Singh, explains in a blog post today. “However, as the capabilities and innovation of Teams expanded significantly over time, it placed strain on device resources. Recognizing this, the team began analyzing available technologies, benchmarking, building prototypes, and defining the new architecture known internally as the ‘north star.’”
AI Powered Teams
Microsoft also plans to include more AI-enabled features into Teams. The company already unveiled Copilot for Microsoft Teams earlier this month — and it’s likely we’ll see a slew of additional AI-based features following suit. Naturally, the new Teams will support AI features, starting with the intelligent recap and Copilot ones Microsoft announced earlier this year, and with more to come in the future. “We will use AI to take the work out of working together by getting you up to speed on what happened before you joined a meeting or chat and answering your questions all in the flow of the discussion,” the company said. “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.”
Microsoft has partnered with an independent benchmarking firm, GigaOm, that tested the performance of new and classic Teams across three different laptops (low-end, general purpose, and high-performance). These are some of their findings on new Teams’ speed and performance improvements.
- Install app up to 3X faster
- Launch app up to 2X faster
- Join meetings up to 2X faster
- Switch chats/channels up to 1.7X faster
- Consume up to 50% less memory
- Consume up to 70% less disk space
How to switch back to classic Teams?
It’s easy to switch back and forth between using the classic and new Teams. To switch back to the classic Teams, turn off the New Teams toggle at the top of Teams.
The company plans to make this new version of Teams available to all users later this year, but it is now rolling out to Windows users who opt into the company’s Public Preview program (though an admin may have to enable this for your organization first). Once enabled, users can easily toggle back and forth between the new and old version. Microsoft stresses that, at least for the time being, users will always be able to switch back to the old Teams experience. Mac support is coming later this year.