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Microsoft Teams is about to get faster. Here's how

Microsoft will release a rebuilt Teams app for desktops next month, with a toggle to switch back to the original if needed.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
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Image: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

Microsoft is gearing up to launch a new version of Microsoft Teams that should have higher performance and use less resources on desktops. 

According to The Verge's sources at Microsoft, the company has been testing the new Teams client broadly within the company. 

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Microsoft hasn't been secret about the fact it is building a Teams 2.0 app. The initiative has involved moving from Angular to the React JavaScript framework, and switching from Electron, the cross-platform desktop app development framework, to Edge's WebView2. Over the past year, it's revealed performance improvements across messaging, calling, and meetings. The changes have also targeted reductions in latency and page-load times, smoother scrolling, and faster loading for the compose message box.  

Microsoft in November offered some snapshots of performance improvements compared to June 2020 when the app became essential for meetings due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Compared to June 2020, switching between chats is 32% faster, while switching between channels is 39% faster. The June 2022 release delivered 20% faster switching between chat threads, and 28% switching between channel threads. These performance improvements were linked to the framework upgrade. 

As noted by The Verge, former head of Microsoft Teams engineering Rish Tandon in 2021 explained the new architecture would help it add support for "multiple accounts, work life scenarios, release predictability, and scale up for the client". Microsoft is also adopting Apollo GraphQL and contributing to the GraphQL project . 

The company's plan is to release a preview of the new Teams app in late March. Users will be able to toggle back to the existing app. 

Microsoft recently launched the Teams Premium Microsoft 365 add-on subscription for $10 per user per month. The AI features in this app, such as intelligent recap, are powered OpenAI's GPT-3.5 series of large language models

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The subscription option comes as growth in Teams' monthly active users has slowed. Teams now has 280 million monthly active users, up from 270 million monthly active users in January 2022. Teams user numbers grew from 44 million daily active users in March 2020 to 145 million daily active users in April 2021.

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