Microsoft has followed through with plans to bring its Casual Games stable to Teams as part of its effort to make the app more social.
News of Casual Games coming to Teams leaked in June with speculation it could be its on-ramp to Microsoft's metaverse. Microsoft now says that bringing classic Windows games or brain teasers like Solitaire to Teams can improve productivity for remote and hybrid workers.
"Along with our morning caffeine, sometimes we need a brain teaser or some friendly competition to get relationships going, infuse levity into our workday, and build a sense of community," writes Nicole Herskowitz, vice president of Microsoft Teams in a blogpost.
The games are available within the Games for Work app, a package developed by Microsoft Casual Games, which is part of Xbox Games Studio. The games include Microsoft IceBreakers, Wordament, Minesweeper, and Solitaire.
They're ad-free, safe for work and available for desktop and mobile, but the app is only available for Microsoft Teams Enterprise and Education customers. Also, Microsoft is treating it as a pilot app.
"Games for Work is a pilot app and its performance as well as feedback from users will influence the casual game roadmap in Microsoft Teams; the current Microsoft Teams gaming policy is unchanged until we complete the pilot," Microsoft notes.
Also: Microsoft Teams: Here's what Microsoft added in the last month
Herskowitz says each game emphasizes a different element of team building.
The games app includes IceBreakers, Minesweeper, Wordament, and Solitaire Collection.
Microsoft promises the app melds into the flow of the workday, allowing co-workers to play with each other inside Teams meetings, on both desktop and mobile.
Microsoft has also added a gamified work tool for polling called Polly in Teams and the challenge game Kahoot!