Microsoft will ship a new Teams version in March. According to The Verge, the new version of the communication app is internally labeled as Microsoft Teams 2.0 or 2.1 and will give users better performance and battery usage on their PCs and laptops, even on old ones.
The report says the new Teams client has been rebuilt from the ground up by Microsoft and recently started a broad test for it within the company. Additionally, the company has reportedly been working on it “for years,” with some of the early works in the new version already released in the built-in version of Teams on Windows 11. Microsoft will release the app preview in late March, but users will have the option to switch back to the existing Teams app version through a toggle control.
The new version is expected to improve the system resource usage of Teams on PCs and laptops. The report claims it will lead to 50% less memory usage and less CPU and battery power. This is possible through Microsoft’s decision to use React and move its Teams from Electron to Webview2 technology of Edge, delivering UI improvements and better performance. In particular, the boost will reportedly let users experience a more responsive Teams even when using older laptops.
The news came out after the recent announcement about the retirement of the “Microsoft Teams Free (classic)” version on April 12. According to Microsoft, the old version will be replaced by the new “Microsoft Teams (free).” Unfortunately for the users of the classic version, however, the replacement will mean paying for the Teams Essentials tier to continuously access their data, including those for existing channels, chats, and recurring meetings.
“Designed specifically with small- and medium-sized businesses in mind, Teams Essentials is the newest version of Teams, which you can purchase separately from Microsoft 365 offerings,” Microsoft says on its FAQ. “After April 12, 2023, Microsoft will no longer support Teams Free (classic). By upgrading to Teams Essentials by that date, you’ll maintain access to your data.”