Skip to main content

Latest Windows 11 build includes the new built-in Microsoft Teams experience

Windows Insiders who are testing Microsoft’s Windows 11 — which has been announced but not yet available for consumers — are getting an update that brings a new experience to Microsoft Teams. With the update, Microsoft is focused on transforming Teams from an enterprise tool into an accessible experience where all PC owners can stay connected with loved ones through chat and video calls. Part of this transformation includes a new fly-out Chat experience from the taskbar and an overall redesign of the Teams desktop experience that makes it feel more like a natural extension of the Windows 11 operating system, the company said.

With the new chat experience on Teams, Microsoft announced that you can now start a chat from the Chat icon in the taskbar, which can also be accessed via keyboard shortcuts. If you’d rather not hover over the icon, you can alternatively use the Win + C shortcut, Microsoft said. From the fly-out window, you can view recent chats or group conversations, and you can also reply or start a new chat.

Microsoft Teams' new Chat experience on Windows 11.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Microsoft had initially showcased the new chat experience for Teams when it publicly announced the new changes to Windows 11. However, the new feature wasn’t immediately ready when the Insider program rolled out. Microsoft said that it will use a staged rollout for the new Teams experience, so it will take some time before all the features are available to you.

“In this first stage, you’ll be able to sign in, add contacts, and connect via individual and group chats,” Microsoft said of its strategy. “Over the coming weeks, we will enable audio and video calling, meetings, screen sharing, and other capabilities.”

An in-line Teams notification.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

And to make multitasking easier, the new Teams preview also allows Insiders to reply to chat notifications directly in-line. Teams notification will also respect Windows 11’s focus assist settings, Microsoft said.

For general PC users who may not have used Teams as part of their workflow in the past, Microsoft is making it easy to connect with family and friends, especially if you’ve used Skype or Outlook in the past.

“If you’ve used Skype or Outlook for personal communications with your Microsoft Account in the past, you’ll have the option to sync those contacts to start using them from day one,” the company said in a detailed blog post outlining all the changes to Teams on Windows 11. “You can also sync contacts from your mobile device by installing the Teams mobile app and turning on contact sync, further saving you time.”

And if you’ve never used a Microsoft account to message or communicate in the past, you can simply enter your contact’s email or phone number into the Teams app, and they’ll receive a message with an invitation to join Teams.

The new Teams experience is available now to Windows 11 Insiders to test. The operating system should be available to consumers later this year. Microsoft previously gave a rough timeline of a launch by the holiday season. If you’re interested in the new Teams experience and don’t mind testing out a non-stable release of Windows 11 right now, be sure to check out our guide on how to sign up for the Windows Insiders program.

Microsoft isn’t the only one working on revamping its communication tools. Rival Apple recently announced big updates to FaceTime and iMessage on the Monterey MacOS. One big change is that non-Apple users will finally be able to join FaceTime video chat calls. Formally known as MacOS 12, Apple’s next operating system is due this fall. Google is also working on replacing its legacy Hangouts platform for enterprise Workspace users with Google Chat.

Editors' Recommendations

Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
Windows 11 might nag you about AI requirements soon
Copilot on a laptop on a desk.

After recent reports of new hardware requirements for the upcoming Windows 11 24H2 update, it is evident that Microsoft is gearing up to introduce a bunch of new AI features. A new report now suggests that the company is working on adding new code to the operating system to alert users if they fail to match the minimum requirements to run AI-based applications.

According to Albacore on X (formerly known as Twitter), systems that do not meet the requirements will display a warning message in the form of a watermark. After digging into the latest Windows 11 Insider Build 26200, he came across requirements coded in the operating system for an upcoming AI File Explorer feature. The minimum requirement includes an ARM64 processor, 16GB of memory, 225GB of total storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite NPU.

Read more
The next big Windows 11 update has a new hardware requirement
Windows 11 device sitting on a stool.

Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 11 24H2 update is expected to arrive with yet another hardware requirement. Centered around SSE4.2 or Streaming SIMD Extensions 4.2, a crucial component for modern processors, the new Windows 11 24H2 with build 26080 will only boot on CPUs that support the instruction set.

This information comes from Bob Pony on X (previously known as Twitter), following earlier reports in February where he claimed that CPUs lacking support for the POPCNT instruction were no longer compatible with Windows 11. The updated requirement is essentially the same, except that they now mandate the entire SSE 4.2 instruction set instead of just the POPCNT instruction within it, as was previously required.

Read more
You’re going to hate the latest change to Windows 11
A laptop running Windows 11.

Just two weeks after rolling out a preview build to Windows Insiders, Microsoft is pushing out an update to Windows 11 that adds advertisements to the Start menu. Build KB5036980, which is now slowly rolling out to the wider Windows 11 user base, includes recommendations in the Start menu, and they sneakily sit beside your real apps.

These apps comes exclusively from the Microsoft store, and they sit in the Recommended section of the Start menu. This section includes recently used, frequent, and new apps, but one (or more) slots will now be dedicated to an ad. As the update reads: "The Recommended section of the Start menu will show some Microsoft Store apps. These apps come from a small set of curated developers. This will help you to discover some of the great apps that are available."

Read more