Microsoft forges One Teams App To Rule Them All

Windows preview delivers one app to handle multiple accounts, boosts Copilot's capabilities

Microsoft is on the cusp of addressing a major frustration caused by its Teams app by introducing a version capable of simultaneously logging in to multiple personae.

Today, Teams users who have multiple work accounts – or a work account and a personal account – can't use a single app to access them all at once. Microsoft offers a free version of Teams, alongside a version called "Teams (work or school)" and users with multiple accounts need to run both. It's also possible to access Teams with a Web interface – another way to run multiple accounts on one machine.

Which is clearly sub-optimal. And it will remain so … until you get your hands on Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26080 which, as Microsoft today announced, includes "a preview experience of the new, unified Microsoft Teams experience on Windows."

Microsoft's post states that the forthcoming experience means users can "seamlessly switch between multiple cloud environments, tenants, and account types across personal and work."

Redmond has done this because, in the words of Windows Insider program lead Amanda Langowski and senior program manager Brandon LeBlanc the software giant "received consistent feedback from personal and work users: you prefer a single Teams app that allows you to easily access and switch between personal and work accounts."

Unified Teams will "soon be rolled out to commercial customers" through the usual channels, Langowski and LeBlanc reveal, before enthusing about features such as the ability to join Teams meetings using your preferred account, or none at all, and notifications that indicate which account they pertain to.

Personal accounts will offer "more details, giving clear and easy actions from the notification banner."

The revised experience won't put everything in one window, or behind a single icon. "You can now launch personal and work accounts simultaneously with separate icons on the taskbar," the post states. "We listened to users about their communication needs in various aspects of their lives and how they want to use Teams. The feedback was clear that a multi-window experience is preferred."

Other features in this preview build include a new look for Copilot that "adds the ability to switch between the existing 'docked' behavior that attaches Copilot to the side of your desktop, and a new mode where it acts like a normal application window which you can resize and move around your screen."

A new runtime for the AI assistant has also helped to imbue it with new powers like cleaning up a disk, emptying the recycle bin, informing you of your IP address, or finding available wireless networks.

It's also possible to enable accessibility features, take a screenshot, or toggle dark mode.

Which means – wait for it – this new release gives us all One Teams To Rule Them All, And In The Dark Mode Bind Them. ®

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