Nearly two years after the first introduction of this integration, Microsoft is getting ready to remove the built-in Microsoft Teams client from Windows 11. The more flexible free version of Microsoft Teams, which is also accessible as a Windows 10 app, will replace the Chat abilities. Microsoft revealed the improvements this week in a fresh Windows 11 test build.
In a blog post, Brandon LeBlanc, senior program manager at Microsoft revealed that “Starting with his build, Chat is now Microsoft Teams – Free.” LeBlanc added, “Microsoft Teams – Free is pinned by default to the taskbar and can be unpinned like other apps on the taskbar.” Microsoft was asked for comment regarding the removal of Chat, as at the time of publication, the company is yet to give an answer.
Windows 11’s Chat, the first Teams integration, was tightly integrated throughout the operating system. The Chat app was pinned to the taskbar by default and has to be disabled by navigating to Settings. Microsoft Teams’ chat feature gives users a method to connect with their friends and family. However, it was only available to consumers, rendering it useless to the great majority of Microsoft Teams customers who utilize the enterprise version of the service. Additionally, users of Windows 11 risk having two confused versions of Teams installed to manage both business and personal calls.
Microsoft has been steadily introducing new features to Chat inside of Windows 11 up until today, beginning with enhanced video conferencing capabilities in October, Discord-like communities, and an AI art tool earlier this month. The Microsoft Teams 2.0 client served as the basis for the new Microsoft Teams software that is currently being sent out to organizations, and it also served as the basis for the built-in Chat abilities in Windows 11.
Just a few days ago, Microsoft announced intentions to discontinue support for Cortana on Windows 11 later this year. Now, the company has decided to do the same with the built-in Teams client in Windows 11. Getting closer to the start of the new financial year, Microsoft is obviously concentrating its attention on brand-new Windows projects, such as its AI-powered Windows Copilot tool.
When speaking at CES earlier this year, Windows CEO Panos Panay hinted at the significance of AI for Windows, saying that “AI is going to reinvent how you do everything on Windows.” Undoubtedly, AI will be a significant component of Windows tools.
Additionally, the modifications to Teams came just a few months after Microsoft reportedly agreed to discontinue the integration of Teams with Office. In an effort to appease EU regulators, according to The Financial Times, Microsoft decided to stop requiring Office customers to install Teams on their devices in April. After competitor Slack complained about Microsoft’s bundling of Teams in 2020, the European Commission opened a formal antitrust investigation into Microsoft’s practices.