There are few constants in life, though death and taxes spring to mind, as does Microsoft forcing its Teams collab platform down the throat of any passing users.
As such, the promised Teams integration has put in an appearance in Windows 11 – for a lucky subset of Windows Insiders, that is.
Our Intel-based Windows 11 Preview machine picked up the update, which currently only does chats (audio and video calling, screen-sharing and meetings remain in the “Coming Soon” category for the time being). And we can report that the experience is only marginally more clunky than the full-fat Teams client. It is also likely to generate a fair few friends-and-family support calls as consumers click the mystery Chat icon in the Taskbar and wonder what to do next.
The app signs in with a user’s Microsoft account and will sync with their Skype and Outlook contacts. Popping in someone’s email or phone number will either send them an invitation email or ping a notification before chat can begin.
We found a few oddities in our testing – emailed invites to chat attempted to kick off video and audio meetings when pasted into a browser, for example. This is all preview stuff at the moment, although is a clear indicator of Microsoft’s direction of travel. Sorry, Skype fans.
However, with Windows 10 support stretching a good few years into the future, those preferring not to join the Teams party in Windows 11 can stick with their existing OS integration.
Fashionably late to the party, our Arm-based Windows 11 device (aka the Raspberry Pi-400 or “Frankenstein’s Windows installation”) also received the update, and insisted on reminding us how wonderful Microsoft 365 was during its reboot.
We imagine that the ever-tighter integration of Teams with Windows might concern some of the Redmond cloud vendor’s messaging rivals. The arrival of the promised code comes almost a year to the day from when Zoom slung a sueball at Microsoft over the decision to bundle Teams into Office.
We have asked Zoom for its take on this latest update, and will update should the company respond. ®