Good news for those who use Microsoft Teams for communication, whether individually or through their employers. Microsoft is rolling out a completely revamped version of the application today, designed for both Windows PCs and Macs. This new release comes with the promise of improved performance and reduced resource consumption.
Initially, a preview of this updated app was introduced for Windows in March. However, this final release encompasses all types of Teams instances, reintroduces support for features such as breakout rooms and third-party app compatibility, and extends its support to macOS.
One of the most striking features of this new Teams app is its enhanced performance and reduced disk space utilization, particularly when operating on Windows PCs. According to Microsoft, this reengineered version of Teams can run “up to two times faster while using 50 percent less memory” on Windows systems. This development should come as a relief to aging and underpowered office PCs around the globe.
Microsoft attributes this improved performance and reduced disk usage on Windows to its Edge WebView2 backend. This is partly achievable because WebView2 can utilize many of the same system files and runtime components as the Edge browser integrated into Windows 10 and Windows 11.
In contrast, the older Teams app relied on the Electron framework, which is also employed by communication apps like Slack and Discord. While both Electron and WebView2 are based on the Chromium browser engine, each Electron app includes its own self-contained set of browser files, necessitating separate storage and updates.
As for Mac users, they won’t experience as dramatic an improvement with this new app since macOS lacks the built-in Edge WebView2 files. A WebView2 app on macOS resembles an Electron app in that it includes its own dependencies and requires separate updates from other WebView2 apps on the same system. Nonetheless, Microsoft claims that the new app should enhance Mac performance by facilitating quicker channel switching, improved scrolling, more efficient resource utilization, and optimization for the “Teams experience” even when using multiple high-resolution monitors during calls or meetings.
If you’re using the old Teams app, you’ll find a toggle in the upper-left corner that allows you to switch over to the new app. All users of the current Teams app can expect to be upgraded to the new version “in the coming months.”
While Microsoft continues to develop the Teams app, it has faced scrutiny for bundling Teams with its other products. In response to complaints from Slack and regulatory investigations, the company has separated Teams from its other Microsoft 365 offerings in Europe. Additionally, the version of Teams integrated into Windows 11, which was even present on the taskbar by default, is slated for removal from the operating system starting this fall.