Microsoft could be bringing games from its Casual Games catalog like Solitaire to its Microsoft Teams meeting and collaboration platform.
Teams has become an important app for video meetings and chat for millions of Office users who could soon be gaining a leisure-focused social option with casual games integrated with Teams.
The games for Teams idea follows a plethora of more serious group-meeting enhancements Microsoft has rolled out in the last couple of years like Together mode, background scenes, echo cancelation and anti-interruption features, and background noise cancelation and music detection. Where these improvements are aimed at making Teams meetings more bearable, Microsoft's current focus is shaping Teams for hybrid work and the return to the office.
SEE: How to make meetings effective and useful: 6 ways to get actually get stuff done
Per The Verge's sources, Microsoft has started testing games from its legacy Casual Games lineup on Teams. Casual Games, many of which previously shipped with Windows, include Solitaire, Minesweeper, Sudoku, Treasure Hunt and Wordament.
Bringing lighthearted games to Teams is one way Microsoft could improve the social experience at work as employees adjust to hybrid and employers try to keep staff smiling as they return to the office.
The games Microsoft is testing for Teams are limited to Microsoft Casual Games, so users can't expect any Xbox or Activision Blizzard games.
Microsoft is also reportedly exploring Teams Casual Games integration as part of its plans for the metaverse. In this incarnation, it would be virtual spaces where colleagues network and socialize over casual games.
It could be an easier on ramp for Microsoft's bigger vision to bring its Azure Mesh mixed-reality to Teams to one day let people equipped with mixed reality headsets like HoloLens join virtual meetings as a hologram rather than as an avatar.