Microsoft has finally revealed its most recent version of Windows, called Windows 11, and it features an option we have not previously seen — the Microsoft Teams app is integrated directly in the taskbar of the new OS.
It doesn’t matter which platform you’re using Windows on or which device you’re logged in to. In Windows 11, the Teams icon is located front and center on the taskbar and leverages options for both chat and video call.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the work from home situation that it gave rise to, online communication apps have grown more prominent than ever. As online working became the norm, Microsoft Teams saw 145 million daily users.
Microsoft used this shift in communication as an opportunity to push its very own platform and integrated Teams directly in the taskbar. It also gave the icon a redesigned look with a camera logo in the middle of a purple circular background. When you click on it, a floating window will reveal your recent contacts and conversations. There are options to start a new video or chat, along with an option to launch the app for the full experience.
The updated Teams feature on Windows 11 essentially seems like an attempt by Microsoft to promote its own platform, just like MacOS features a streamlined interface for FaceTime and iMessage. However, this update could come off as bad news to online communication competitor apps. There is already a sign that Microsoft may plan to end Skype, and this easy integration could mean companies may find it easier to connect on Teams instead of downloading a third-party app such as Slack.
It is important to note that Microsoft announced the personal version of Microsoft Teams just last year. The company surely wasn’t trying to compete with iMessage, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or other dedicated chat apps. It was a part of a broader effort by Microsoft to remain relevant with consumers and win them back after a series of exits from consumer-friendly services. The repositioning of the icon on Windows 11 may also be an attempt to appeal to a set of people looking to do more than just chat.
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