Microsoft Teams Chat Included With Windows 11
Microsoft started testing Teams chat integration with Windows on July 20, starting with a subset of Windows Insider testers within the Dev channel. Windows 11 will come with an inbuilt Teams chat button to replace the Skype Meet Now button in Windows 10. Testers can click the Chat button in the taskbar (or press the WIN+C keyboard shortcut) to view their most recent Teams conversations or begin a new chat or call.
If you want to open the full Teams app, you can select the “Open Microsoft Teams” right from the Chat flyout or click it directly from the Search or Start Menu. However, users will have to first download and install the Teams app before launching the app since it’s not preloaded as part of Microsoft Windows 11. Once the Team Chat window is open, you can launch Microsoft Teams app reengineered for Windows 11.
New Features with Teams Chat
With the new Chat feature, Windows 11 users will be able to chat with friends and family members more efficiently. Windows Insider program testers are already trying out the Chat software before Windows 11 is officially availed to the general population later this year.
The addition of the chat component into the Windows 11 operating system could bring greater adoption of Teams, a solution that became more popular during the global pandemic. If more users adopt Teams, the application could become more valuable in the Office suite. Of course, Office Suit is currently the largest component of Microsoft’s business.
Initially, users will only be able to engage in individual and group chats. However, support for video and voice calls and other chat features will come later. So far, Chat has only been localized for gadgets using the English language and configured for the US market. Besides, the app is only being rolled out to a few Windows Insiders.
How the Teams Chat Operates
Not all users have to be on Teams to exchange messages with other people using Chat in Windows 11. If a user with Teams chat sends a message to another user who’s not on Teams chat, the recipient will get the message in an SMS or email. Microsoft will, however, provide an option for the recipient to join Teams. Besides, it’s possible to sync your Outlook and Skype contacts.
Microsoft Windows 10 came with pre-installed Skype apps. But after the pandemic arrived in 2020, the company introduced the Meet Now feature to make it easy for users to start Skype calls from the comfort of their Windows operating system. With Windows 11, the focus has shifted to Teams, which registered 145 million active users every day as of April 2021.
If more people begin to use Teams due to its inclusion in Windows 11, it could pose fresh challenges to competitors such as Slack and Zoom. On the day Microsoft announced Windows 11, Slack responded by saying, “Open is better than closed, choice is better than lock-in, and fair competition is perfect for all. Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t see it that way.”
Microsoft Teams integration on Windows 11 is one of the biggest feature announcements for the new operating system. It works through a combination of two parameters: a new lightweight WebView2-powered Teams client and a dedicated chat flyout UI in the taskbar.
Additional Features of Microsoft Teams Chat
The first preview only allows users to sync contacts and text them, but video calls and “meet now” functionalities will come later. Microsoft has highlighted several features that will be available through Teams Chat integration once it’s fully availed.
For example, if you want to reach out to your friend or family, you can simply tap the Chat icon in the taskbar or use the keyboard shortcut WIN+C. At a glance, you’ll be able to see your most recent individual and group conversations and respond or start a fresh chat or call.
When other users contact you, you’ll get beautiful, native notifications and even respond directly inline to text chats. Besides, you can accept or decline calls right from the notifications and choose whether to pick up the call as audio-only or with video.
Another critical feature of Teams chat is that you won’t need to ask your friends or family for any special codes in order to connect with them. You will simply send a message to their phone number or email address. And if they’re not using Teams already, they’ll receive your message through email or SMS with an invitation to join Teams if they wish.
Syncing Outlook and Skype with Teams
If you currently use Outlook or Skype for personal communications, you’ll have the option to sync the contacts to begin using them from day one. Besides, you can sync contacts from your smartphone or tablet by installing the Teams app and switching on contact sync, saving you time. To invite people to a video call or group chat, you can simply copy the Teams link and share it via email. Even if they don’t currently have Teams installed, they can just click the link to join.
Additional Features Will Be Rolled Out Gradually
With this first launch of the Teams chat integration in Windows 11, the support is limited to English (the US only). However, additional language and localization support will come later. Besides, offline mode is not yet supported, and not all features are available yet. More features and functionalities will be introduced gradually to Microsoft Insiders over the coming weeks. Some of these features include video calls and meetings for individuals and groups, screen sharing, presence and status settings, and more.
According to Microsoft officials, users on Windows 10 using the Skype Meet Now application will continue doing so for as long as Windows 10 is supported, which could be until 2025. Microsoft officials also emphasized that just because Windows 11 comes with Skype chat and Teams chat buttons on the taskbar, it doesn’t mean users can’t opt for different, non-Microsoft chat or video offerings such as Zoom.
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