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The New Microsoft Teams for Desktop is Here

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Microsoft introduces the next chapter of Microsoft Teams

Today, March 27, 2023, Microsoft announced the New Microsoft Teams desktop client. This new version of Teams promises to address customer challenges regarding ease of use, reliability, and overall performance. It will be available via Public Preview in March 2023 and generally available later this year.

NOTE: These updates are for desktop only. This update does not affect the Teams mobile client. No major changes are planned for the mobile client at this point.

Read more below on what the benefits are and who the best candidates are for the new Microsoft teams.

End-User Benefits: Speed & Performance

The new Microsoft Teams is built for speed and collaboration. Improvements to the user interface will allow for improved switching between accounts and tenants. The new version will also unlock more speed and performance benefits for end users. These benefits will include the following:

  • Speed
    • 3x faster installation times
    • 2x faster app launch
    • 2x faster meeting join times
    • 7x faster chat and channel switching
  • Performance
    • 50% less memory usage
    • 70% less disk space

IT Benefits: Security & Management Enhancements

IT administrator benefits enable more security and manageability enhancements for IT administrators such as:

  • Improved meeting quality
  • Partial data model to improve screen rendering
  • Streamlined app installation through Microsoft Intune and MSIX
  • Reduced network and disk space usage
  • Hardened security, including Trusted Types and stronger Content Security Policy,

A Bit of Caution for Heavy Teams Users

Although this newer, zippier version of Microsoft Teams brings tons of benefits, there are also some drawbacks worth calling out. Currently, the new Microsoft Teams has not reached feature parity with the current desktop client.

While first-party apps such as SharePoint, Office, Microsoft Viva and others work as expected, some third-party and custom apps may not. These will be mitigated on a case-by-case basis, however if you organization has custom SPFx web parts and apps in Teams tabs, these will not work immediate and will need to be investigated. Also, organizations using Teams App templates should also defer this update for later.

Ideal Candidates for the New Microsoft Teams

The best candidates for the new Microsoft Teams desktop client are those using Microsoft Terms for basic collaboration scenarios such as chat and meetings. Organizations using mostly windows machines will have a better experience (initially) as support for Mac OS is coming soon. Supported versions of Windows include Windows 10: version 10.0.18800 or higher and Windows 11: version 22000.856 or higher.

How Do I get Started?

The Microsoft Teams will be available via Publix Preview in March 2023, Targeted Release in April 2023, and General Availability later this year. Once enabled within the Microsoft Teams update management policy settings, users may switch to the new experience from a toggle in the Teams user interface.  They may also switch back via the same toggle as long as the app has not been abled by default.

Microsoft has provided tons of resources for getting started on the journey to the new Teams Client. These resources range from feedback and roadmap information to technical, end-user, and adoption considerations. Check out the list of getting started resources below:

Ready to Reimagine Your Employee Experience?

Our dedicated Microsoft Modern Work practice brings the best expertise in the industry. From M365 Strategies to Intelligent Intranet to Microsoft Teams to Microsoft Viva, our consultants are here to ensure your success.

As a designated Modern Work Microsoft Solutions Partner and Viva Early Adopter, our Microsoft Partner Advisory Council and Partner Program contributions along with our 20+ years of delivering employee experiences to our clients means we seek to build the best strategy for your organization.

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Ron Jones, Practice Director, Microsoft Modern Work

Ron is the practice lead for Microsoft Modern Work including M365 security, M365 foundations, tenant -to-tenant migrations, collaboration, and Microsoft-based employee experiences including modern intranets and Microsoft Viva. He is also an active member of the Microsoft community leading the Atlanta SharePoint and Microsoft 365 User Group (ATL365) and speaking at events.

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