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New Microsoft Teams: See what’s new in design and performance

Keeping track of Microsoft’s progress and innovations during these last years has become a complicated task. This is true whether you follow the details or keep a distance. The reason for this is the large amount, frequency, and new features that the Redmond company constantly deploys.

We can mention some of the novelties of these first months of 2023, such as, for example, Microsoft Loop. Or the adoption of Artificial Intelligence, with the incorporation of Microsoft in the capital of Open AI, through its inclusion in Azure, Dynamics, Viva, Bing, in Power Platform, to the inclusion of CoPilot mode in Microsoft 365 or Clarity; the announcement of Teams Premium and, now, the announcement of the new Microsoft Teams.

And as you can deduce from the title, it is precisely this last new feature that we want to share in this article: The New Microsoft Teams.

WHEN WILL THE NEW MICROSOFT TEAMS BE AVAILABLE?

The new Microsoft Teams is available in Public Review from 27 March 2023, but let’s review where we’ve come from. In October 2022, Microsoft Teams Premium was introduced under the slogan: “The best way to meet”.

In that new Premium version of Microsoft Teams, we had features such as:

  • New meeting guides that allow us to reduce the time and process of setting up a meeting, ensuring compliance with each company’s meeting policies.
  • Customized Meeting Branding through which we can configure the Look & Feel of our meeting spaces.
  • Real-time translation of subtitles.
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Just 5 months after the announcement of Microsoft Teams Premium, Microsoft surprised us with the announcement of a new, completely reimagined Teams with a clear main goal: To provide a faster, simpler, and more flexible experience.

Let’s now review how the new Microsoft Teams covers this goal in its desktop application.

NEW FEATURES AND IMPROVEMENTS OF THE NEW MICROSOFT TEAMS

Overall, we can say that the new Microsoft Teams app:

  • Opens twice as fast and allows us to join meetings twice as fast.
  • Is optimized to use up to 50% less memory.
  • Allows collaboration between different organizations, with the difference that, regardless of which organization we are working for, we can receive notifications from all accounts, without having to switch companies.
  • Has simplified IT management.
  • We can enjoy improved application security.

FASTER IMPLEMENTATION AND MORE EFFICIENT RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

To carry out this optimization, Microsoft has relied on GigaOm, a benchmarking company, which tested the application to make improvements based on how users interact with it.

They have made improvements in the following areas after analysis and testing:

  • Jumps between Chats, Channels, and Activities: We do this a thousand times a month; now these changes will be faster as we won’t have to wait for content to load.
  • A faster scrolling experience, giving us better responsiveness and faster access to relevant information.

They have also improved other aspects.

  • 3x faster app installation.
  • Switching between chats and channels is now 1.7 times faster.
  • 50% less memory consumption.
  • 70% less disk space consumption.

MORE EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION ACROSS ORGANISATIONAL LIMITS

You may have found yourself in a situation where you are a member of multiple organizations on Microsoft Teams. Interacting between these organizations can be a cumbersome and time-consuming process, often requiring you to switch connections.

Let’s take an example:

We have an account in a customer or supplier’s organization and we have our company’s account. Usually, we use our company’s account, but if we want to stay up to date with activities happening on other accounts, we have only two options:

Option 1 – Have that account open in Teams Web in the browser.

Option 2 – If we use the Microsoft Teams application, we have to switch accounts. So we are no longer online in one of them, to be online in another. Not to mention new login, new Authentication, etc.

The new Microsoft Teams application enables us to receive notifications from any account, regardless of the account we are currently logged into. This avoids interruptions in our daily workflow, making collaboration across multiple organizations easier and more efficient.

SIMPLIFYING IT MANAGEMENT

At this point, the new Microsoft Teams application is supported by the Endpoint management tool: Microsoft Intune. Among many other features, it allows us to remotely and silently manage the installations and updates of software on our company’s devices.

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INCREASED PROTECTION OF BUSINESS DATA

To reduce the risk of cyber-attacks, Microsoft presents a set of solutions that help us to prevent, detect and respond to an attack through advanced security measures such as:

  • Adoption of Trusted Types.
  • Implementation of Content Security Policies.
  • Cross-site scripting (XSS) protection.

The installation package is protected with Windows security and continuous updates, ensuring that all users are covered by the guarantee.

HOW CAN I TEST THE NEW MICROSOFT TEAMS?

To have access to the Public Review we will have to check if we meet the following requirements:

  • If you are already a member of the Public Review Program, you will already have the “switch” “Try the New Teams”.
  • If we belong to the Targeted Release Program, we will have access to the new Microsoft Teams in mid-April 2023.
  • If it is already in production, administrators will be able to manage access.

Once we have confirmed any of these requirements, if we follow the steps detailed in this Tech Community article, we will be able to switch to the new Microsoft Teams, always with the option of returning to classic Teams.

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We must take into account the speed with which Microsoft is providing us with new features, improvements, functionalities, and even applications. So we will take advantage of this to get on this train of continuous improvements, which will allow us to ensure that our organization is efficient with the tools and solutions provided by the Redmond giant.

Oriol Fernandez Moreno – Product Owner at Itequia