New features coming with Windows 11 this fall were released yesterday and we’re excited to see the continued, slow death of Skype means better integration for Microsoft Teams. This brings Teams one step closer to a fully cross-devices experience like iOS users already have with Apple’s FaceTime.
Microsoft Teams at Your Fingertips
Start a meeting, a chat, or visit your recent chats with just a click from the Windows 11 taskbar. Microsoft tells us in a recent blog post we’ll be able to “instantly connect through text, chat, voice or video with all of your personal contacts, anywhere, no matter the platform or device they’re on”, which includes the ability to send SMS to people without the Teams app. Although it can’t be seen in the screenshot below, Microsoft says we’ll be able to toggle mute/unmute or start presenting from the taskbar as well.
The experience looks pretty clean and though I’d like some quick calendar view options, it seems like users will be leaning more on Widgets again (remember those?) for that kind of information. I do appreciate the quick “Open in Microsoft Teams” launch being so close to the taskbar icon rather than at the top of the window, minimizing the travel distance to launch the full program.
According to ZDNet, Microsoft officials are emphasizing that users can still opt for a different non-Microsoft application, like Zoom, for chat and video needs.
Switching Teams Accounts
The elephant in the room is the poor experience swapping accounts in Teams. While switching between a personal account and work account is simple enough in Teams desktop and via mobile apps, to continually swap between multiple Microsoft 365 work or school accounts you’ll have to use the mobile app (or a series of individual browser sessions) to do so without fully signing out and back in. Much of the Microsoft Teams user experience is great, but we know how frustrating these steps are for users –we do it daily here at AP!- and hope to hear more from Microsoft as the Windows 11 release date approaches on how they’ll be improving this experience.
Windows 11 Release
Windows 11 will be dropping Fall 2021 as a free update to existing Windows 10 users and those who purchase a Windows 10 device between now and general release.
Although a leaked version of the upcoming OS exists, we recommend waiting for the public beta or signing up for the upcoming Insider Preview (and installing this version on a secondary device!) if you’d like to see these features before release day.
Don’t forget to check out the Windows 11 System Requirements to ensure your personal and company devices are compatible before upgrading this fall. Not sure how to tell? Consult Additional Pylons to make sure you’re ready to take advantage of these and other new features from Microsoft and Microsoft 365 services.