An all-new Microsoft Teams app is here, and you might actually like it this time

Microsoft Teams meeting on PC with phone
(Image credit: / DANIEL CONSTANTE)

Keeping up to speed with all your workplace chats and meetings could soon be a lot easier after Microsoft Teams unveiled a new-look app for Windows and Mac that promises a smarter, better way to work.

The company says its upgraded version of the video conferencing and chat platform "ushers in a new era of Microsoft Teams" which will run up to twice as fast, and consume up to 50% less memory and disk space than classic Teams.

But the new app, which the company says also features a more flexible, simpler design, also offers better support for third-party apps, PSTN calling, and much faster launching or joining of meetings.

All-new Microsoft Teams

"Our goal was to reimagine Teams from the ground up to deliver a faster, simpler, smarter, and more flexible app to help you stay productive and collaborate more effectively," the company wrote in a blog post announcing the news.

"We have focused on providing high-quality performance and enhancing the basics in areas such as reliability, security, and IT management to make sure that new Teams meets the evolving requirements of your organization."

Microsoft says the upgrade has been made possible by moving from the Electron foundations of "classic Teams" in favor of its own Edge WebView2 technology and the React JavaScript library, both of which offer a significant speed and performance boost.

Using Edge WebView 2 means Teams is effectively sharing its resources with the browser, reducing memory usage and disk space by up to 50%, with initial test results showing the "new Teams" to be on average two times faster when loading the app, joining meetings, and switching chats and channels, as well as taking up 70% less disk space.

Microsoft Teams new app

(Image credit: Microsoft Teams)

Teams on Mac has also been given a welcome performance boost, now running natively on Mac for a much better app experience, as well as boosted app security thanks to a containerized app model, simplified app updates via Microsoft AutoUpdate, and more efficient use of device resources. Using multiple high-resolution monitors during calls or meetings has also been optimized.

Teams as a whole has been given a bit of a facelift, with the Fluent design language system providing several UI improvements that Microsoft says offers "a simplified and streamlined user experience that makes it easier for you to personalize experiences, stay on top of your notifications, and get more done in fewer clicks."

This includes Teams automatically picking light or dark mode and switching based on your system settings, as well as improved support for users with color sensitivity, utilizing Windows 11 contrast themes so users can select a color palette that works best for their needs. 

Keyboard shortcuts have also been improved, allowing users to navigate between list items such as activity feed and chat threads. And at last, there is a "mark all as read” feature in activity, along with a "mark all as read” in chats or channels coming soon.

Microsoft Teams copilot

(Image credit: Microsoft Teams)

As with apparently all new Microsoft announcements, Copilot also makes an appearance, with the company saying the AI assistant is able to, "work alongside you to help you stay on top of your tasks". 

Copilot will be able to analyze chats and calls to provide short summaries of all the key points, action items and decisions, which can then be shared and collaborated on in Teams, and using Microsoft Graph, Copilot can dig through your documents, presentations, emails, calendar invites, notes, and contacts to find exactly the information you need and bring it together in one place.

The new Microsoft Teams is rolling out now, with Windows and Mac users alike able to install or upgrade automatically from "classic Teams" over the next few months.

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Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.