According to Panos Panay, Chief Product Office at Microsoft, the new functionality will help Windows users connect more easily with work and personal contacts, no matter the device or platform they are on.
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The Microsoft Teams icon will take a front-and-center spot on the new Windows 11 taskbar, which is positioned in the middle of the screen, similar to the macOS dock. From here, users will also be able to perform actions such as muting their microphone and launching into a presentation.
“It’s not just about creativity, it’s not just about productivity; beyond these things, there is another critical part of Windows. We want to bring you closer to the things you love, and connecting with people is at the top of that list,” said Panay.
Microsoft Teams on Windows 11
Whispers about a possible Teams integration began swirling earlier in the week, when analysis of the leaked Windows 11 build revealed Microsoft-owned Skype had been struck from the list of software that comes pre-installed with Windows.
During the pandemic, Skype has played second fiddle to Teams, which has received a raft of new features and performance improvements that have helped establish the service as a household name, alongside the likes of Zoom and Slack.
Although the consumer version of Skype will remain active, Skype for Business Online will be retired by July 31 2021, after which date business customers will be forced to migrate to Microsoft Teams.
By putting Teams on a platter for all Windows 11 users, Microsoft will hope it can increase its already strong position in the collaboration and video conferencing market as businesses transition to a hybrid working model in the months to come.
“The last 18 months drove new behavior for how we create meaningful connections with people digitally. Even as we start to return to more in-person interaction, we want to continue to make it easy for people to stay close with each other no matter where they are,” added Panay.
“Windows is more than just an operating system; it’s a fabric woven into our lives and in our work. It’s where we connect with people, it’s where we learn, work and play. Just like Windows, Teams brings you closer to the people you love and to the information you both want and need.”
Windows 11 will be available as a free upgrade for qualifying Windows 10 PCs and will begin rolling out in the winter.
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Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.