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Microsoft has announced the launch of its early access program for Microsoft Teams 2, the latest update to its collaboration tool that aims to compete with the likes of Slack. The company said that Teams 2 has been “reimagined” based on user feedback, with speed and simplicity as the two primary priorities.
Microsoft Teams 2 is available for preview on Windows, with an early version for Mac expected to be released later this year. The company has said that it has rebuilt Teams from the ground up, with a focus on speed, performance, flexibility, and intelligence.
The overhaul of Teams has been a significant project for Microsoft, with the company stating that its goal has always been to bring together all communication and collaboration tools in one place. The new app delivers up to two times faster performance while using 50 percent less memory, allowing users to save time and collaborate more efficiently.
Microsoft has streamlined the user experience, making it simpler to use and easier to find everything in one place. These enhancements provide the foundation for new AI-powered experiences, such as Copilot for Microsoft Teams, which was announced earlier this month.
Microsoft has stated that its guiding principle for Teams 2 has been to “make it twice as fast while using half the system resources”. The company has achieved this by making a ground-up investment to overhaul the platform to optimize the data, network, chat, and video architecture for speed and performance.
The new Teams app has already achieved significant progress, with launch time and joining a meeting both 2x faster for the public preview. Microsoft has said that it is always exploring how to offer a simpler yet feature-rich experience for its diverse and growing user base.
For improved flexibility, Microsoft has upgraded its authentication model, synchronization, and notification systems to provide a seamless and consistent experience. It has also made it easier to work across multiple tenants and accounts, allowing users to stay signed in across all their accounts.
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Microsoft has highlighted that Teams 2 will be the foundation for next-generation AI experiences, including those previously announced, such as Copliot AI. The latest AI is expected to speed up workflows, answer questions in discussions, and much more.
Microsoft has started rolling out the Teams 2 preview for Windows, with admin resources available to enable it. The company plans to release the all-new Teams preview for Macs later this year, with the public launch for version 2 also expected later this year.