Windows 11 will come with a built-in Microsoft Teams for consumers experience when it starts shipping later this year, and Microsoft has started rolling out this new app to Windows 11 testers today. This new built-in app uses Microsoft’s new Teams architecture that is also available on the new Teams desktop app that ditched Electron in favor of Edge Webview 2, and it should be pretty fast.
For now, the app will only support chat conversations but Microsoft is planning to add support for audio and video calling, meetings, screen sharing, and more in the near future. Once the app is available on your Windows 11 testing machine, a Chat icon will appear in the taskbar but you’ll also be able to launch it with the WIN + C keyboard shortcut. The app will open as a pop-up window that will float above the taskbar, but you’ll be able to open the full windowed experience by clicking “Open Microsoft Teams” from the Chat flyout.
This new Teams app supports native Windows notifications as well as inline replies, and you can also accept or decline calls right from the notifications. To start chatting with your personal contacts, the app will suggest you to sync your Skype and Outlook address book, but you can also start chatting with anyone by entering an email or a phone number. If your contacts aren’t already on Teams, they will get an invite to join the Teams network.
In the future, Microsoft plans to make this re-architected Teams app on Windows 11 a first-class experience for consumers, with support for Together Mode and live emoji reactions in meetings, the ability to share your screen or drag-n-drop photos, videos, and other files with your contacts, and more. It remains to be seen if this built-in Teams for consumer experience on Windows 11 will be better received than the Skype app for Windows 10, but Teams has been enjoying some real momentum since the beginning of the pandemic.
"We are beginning to roll Chat from Microsoft Teams to only a subset of Insiders at first, and over time will increase to more Insiders. Insiders will also need to reboot to see it enabled," the Windows Insider team said today. If you do have access to this new Teams app on your Windows 11 testing machine, let us know what you think of it in the comments below.