Microsoft is reportedly gearing up to deliver a brand new, slimline version of Microsoft Teams that will replace the existing desktop app to bring performance upgrades on lower-end devices.
Yes, indeed, when it comes to Microsoft Teams, it's not all about video and jazzy upgrades to group calls that make the headlines. News of the more peppy, lightweight desktop app is great for lower-end consumers – who represent a significant majority – and don't want to splash out on more premium hardware, quietly content with less hefty specifications to meet their computing needs.
As such, Microsoft has announced the Progressive Web App PWA version of Microsoft Teams, which enables users of more budget devices to run the Microsoft Teams platform without having to endure processing problems or significant drops in performance. It's news you love to hear.
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The project is still in its infancy, while undergoing the brunt of its technical development, and reportedly known internally through the moniker, Microsoft Teams Alpha.
Microsoft Teams Alpha is designed around Microsoft Edge (Chromium) WebView, which sees it part ways with the browser’s address bar, allowing Microsoft Teams to open in a standalone window.
According to the report, the purported lite version of Microsoft Teams will forgo the app's usual trimmings to singularly prioritize performance. Such features like the menu bar, music tool, and extension tab are thus hidden to ensure they don’t sap those important performance levels.
There's no word on whether recent innovations like the history toggle tool that lets you navigate old tabs more easily will be available, but we'd hope to see a feature like this present in a more diet version of Microsoft Teams, especially as it improves usability.
With this said, the changes mean that low-end and lightweight devices should be able to handle the slimmed-down program with ease; more, Microsoft Teams PWA-based web app is expected to offer “better loading performance”, support all desktop platforms, and run more smoothly because of reduced memory and CPU usage.
Right now, there's no confirmation as to when Microsoft will announce the lighter Microsoft Teams, but it's particularly refreshing to see brands tailor products to lower-spec'd hardware, such as something from our best laptops under £500, or the cheaper entrants on our best student laptops.