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Microsoft Teams Undergoes Major Overhaul

by Lyndon Doyle - Thu 30 Mar 2023

Microsoft has announced that its Teams app has undergone a major overhaul to make it faster, more flexible and easier to use, after several years of development.  The new Teams app is now available to those who are part of the Microsoft Teams Public Preview program and the redesign involved a complete rebuild from the ground up, with Microsoft implementing several improvements to address user feedback.

Sumi Singh, the Corporate Vice President of Engineering for Microsoft Teams, said that the new Teams app is "faster, simpler and more flexible than ever before." The redesign involved a focus on performance and usability, with the new Teams app being two times faster while using 50 percent fewer resources. Installing the new app is also three times faster, and launching or joining meetings is two times faster than before. The app now consumes 50 percent less memory and 70 percent less disk space, making it more efficient than ever.

Microsoft has listened to user feedback about the app being slow or problematic and has implemented a range of improvements to address these issues. For example, Microsoft has moved away from the Electron foundations of Teams and is now using Microsoft's Edge WebView2 technology, alongside a full move to the React JavaScript library. This has led to improvements in performance, with reduced memory usage and a lower disk footprint, whereas currently Microsoft Teams uses two sets of Java Script frameworks which means the program has a lot of heavy lifting to do.

The redesign has also involved a visual refresh to better match Windows 11, with the new Teams app now using native materials like Windows 11's Mica translucency to feel more like a native Windows app. Microsoft has also changed the canvas colour from grey to white and uses less of the purple Teams colour throughout. Microsoft Teams will automatically switch to dark mode now, and the app has group profile pictures and theming.

In addition to the improvements in performance and visual design, Microsoft has added several useful features to the new Teams app. For example, the app now has an improved method for switching between different Teams accounts in your organisation, with all accounts and notifications available in a single drop-down menu. The app also features AI-powered video filters, improved whiteboard functionality, and is positioned as the foundation for Microsoft's future work with AI-powered features like the Copilot assistant.

The new release doesn’t currently support 3rd party applications and some of the built in advanced calling features like call queues are currently missing so if you decide to use the Preview release make sure these missing feature won’t affect you beforehand. 

Overall, Microsoft's redesign of Teams represents a major improvement over the previous version, with significant performance gains and a visual refresh that better matches the Windows 11 experience. With a range of new features and improvements, the new Teams app promises to be a more efficient, flexible and user-friendly tool for businesses of all sizes. While some functionality is still missing during the preview release, the new Teams app is set to be rolled out more broadly later this year, so more businesses and schools can look forward to experiencing the full benefits of the redesign later in the year.

More details available on the Microsoft website

Image credit: Microsoft


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