Microsoft is readying a raft of changes to its Teams platform, with the program set to become ‘significantly faster and smarter’.
The business communication platform is due for a sizeable upgrade this June, with big speed improvements and greater integration of AI among the most notable developments.
‘Copilot’ is the name that’s been given to Microsoft’s latest foray into the world of AI – where straightforward but time-consuming tasks (such as taking minutes at a meeting or creating graphs from Excel data) can be done by a machine. And this isn’t just any machine, as Copilot will use the technology behind viral sensation ChatGPT for its AI capabilities.
In the back end there have been coding changes that will drastically speed up the program too. Both launching MS Teams and joining meetings will be twice as fast, whilst memory usage could drop by half. Disk space, meanwhile, is expected to be around 70% lower than at present – making users’ devices run more quickly, not just the Teams app itself.
There will also be a fundamental shift on the interface, with conversations changing to run top-down instead of bottom-up. On this, Microsoft admits wanting to use the old version of threaded conversations as a point of difference. However, following user feedback the company admitted it needed to “be humble” and switch to a top-down post-and-reply experience – which users of social media platforms may find more familiar.
The speed updates have also extended to the chat functionality, with changes to the code improving background loading speeds when pulling up older messages.
Last of the notable changes came in the form of Microsoft allowing users to access Teams when they’re logged into more than one account. As PC World’s senior editor Mark Hachman suggested: “A sneaky way to encourage users to use Teams for both work and play, perhaps?”
Announcing these upcoming changes, president of collaborative apps and platforms at Microsoft, Jeff Teper, said: “The new app is built on a foundation of speed, performance, flexibility, and intelligence—delivering up to two times faster performance while using 50 percent less memory so you can save time and collaborate more efficiently.”