This article is more than 1 year old

Microsoft promises it's made Teams less confusing and resource hungry

Aimed to make it twice as fast, more consistent and happy running on more hardware

Microsoft has released preview versions of an improved Teams desktop client for Windows that it aimed to make "twice as fast while using half the system resources" while also reducing user confusion and improving interface consistency.

The software colossus announced what it called a "new era for Teams" on Monday, claiming the new client delivers "up to two times faster performance while using 50 percent less memory" and "compatibility with a broader range of computers."

Teamsters are also promised a user experience that is "simpler to use and easier to find everything in one place."

"To optimize navigation, we prioritized the user interactions that occur most frequently, including switching between different chats, channels, and activities," wrote Teams product marketing chap Anupam Pattnaik in a Microsoft Tech Community article.

"On average, a typical user switches ten thousand times per month, emphasizing the importance of a faster and more responsive experience," he explained. "With new Teams, switching between chats, channels, and activities will be instant, without having to wait for content to load."

New MS Teams UI elements

Some of the new UI elements in Teams – Click to enlarge

In a post from Microsoft Design, the company admitted that those improvements were needed because Microsoft got things wrong in its original Teams client.

"A consistent source of customer confusion, many of the challenges people faced when using them were rooted in basic UX problems," wrote Microsoft design chaps Thad Scott and Colin Day. "Initially, channel posts followed a chat-like model, where new posts and comments came from the bottom-up.

"Threaded conversations like this were a unique differentiator for Teams. But this is where we needed to be humble and admit mistakes based on feedback. Differentiator or not – the model confused people. It looked like chat, but behaved like threads."

Pattnaik added that Teams will now feature "lowered shimmering and reduced wait times."

Admins may enjoy tweaks that make it easier to run Teams in "organizations that span multiple tenants and accounts.

"Instead of logging in and out of different tenants and accounts, you can now stay signed in across them all—receiving notifications no matter which one you are currently using."

Microsoft's Tech Community details over 50 new features in Teams.

All of the promised new gewgaws are currently visible in a Preview that business customers can opt into here. After doing so users will "see a simple toggle to switch to the new Teams. You'll also be able to switch back to classic Teams at any time."

"We are targeting the general availability of new Teams later this year in 2023," Microsoft's main post states. Between now and then, the new Teams client preview will also debut for macOS "later this year." ®

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