Power Community

Power Community

Microsoft Teams: Building a Foundation for the Future

Today, at Enterprise Connect, we announced a host of new innovation coming to Microsoft Teams. For details, I encourage you to check out this blog.

As Teams has grown to serve over 320 million monthly active users across 181 markets and 44 languages, a strong focus on our core capabilities is essential. It’s been a year since we ushered in the new era of Teams with the release of our new, built from the ground up, desktop app for Windows and Mac. As we hit the milestone of more than 75% of monthly active users using new Teams – we wanted to share how we are setting a new standard for performance, reliability, and simplicity.

Reliability

The new Teams desktop app, which leverages WebView2 as the host and React as the web development framework, has greatly enhanced reliability when compared to classic Teams. Every code change we make undergoes rigorous validation across a range of workloads, A/B experimentation, and controlled rollouts starting from internal pre-release users to all Microsoft employees to public preview before reaching the general availability stage of release. We have been constantly enhancing the reliability of our key scenarios such as app launch, in-meeting experience, search and more – with over half of our metrics improving since new Teams became generally available.

Service availability is a crucial part of our app reliability. During the past year, we focused on maintaining high levels of availability including isolating failures and building resiliency into our architecture. For example, we enhanced the reliability of the message delivery service in Teams by applying high-availability clustering configurations and by being able to revert any change that was causing unexpected impact. We implemented advanced tools such as automated certificate management and multi-content delivery networks which made Teams more resilient to failures. Investments like these have already made a difference in uptime, and we are pleased to announce that as of April 1, 2024, we will update our service level agreement (SLA) for Teams Phone to promise five nines (99.999%) of uptime availability.

This year, we will raise the bar further by building self-healing and self-preservation capabilities into our core infrastructure, as part of a broader proactive approach to ensuring continued reliability and bolstering Teams’ resilience. We plan to continue to assist our customers in recovering quickly from failures and communicating faster by using methods to detect potential failures before they happen – minimizing the impact of failures. All these investments will enable us to continuously maintain and improve our SLAs.

Performance

Last year, we shipped the most significant performance improvements in our history with the release of new Teams. The new app delivers up to two times faster app performance while using 50% less memory.

We focused on making performance more consistent for the p95 metric, which means that the experience is better than metric for 95% of the time. We optimized app speed and responsiveness for common scenarios such as sending messages in a chat, switching between chat and channel threads, meeting actions such as muting and unmuting audio, and more. We also lowered the time it takes to join a meeting by more than 70%. We reduced the bundle size significantly, with more than a 50% reduction in the bundle size for anonymous users who participate in meetings on the browser. In some situations, like joining third-party online meetings, also referred to as Direct Guest Join, the bundle size was cut down from 120MB to 10MB. This speeds up the meeting join experience and makes it easier to join a meeting that requires lower system requirements.

We also released end user capabilities that significantly improved the in-call and in-meeting experiences, most significantly with a voice isolation feature that uses AI to identify and isolate your voice, so only you can be heard in a noisy environment where other people around you are talking. We have improved the way we retransmit video data to make it more resistant to packet loss, resulting in a 24% decrease in overall video freezes for Teams 1:1 calls and fully eliminating 40% of all short video freezes of 3 seconds or less (this is also being rolled out for group calls and meetings). We recently introduced the AV1 codec for screen sharing, which on average compresses the data 63% more effectively than H.264 for our users. This enables us to offer higher quality screen sharing when the bandwidth is low.

Later this year, we will release a new feature that will enhance the speech signal quality of the meeting participants by getting rid of microphone distortions and lowering room reverberation even more so that your voice will sound as if it was recorded in a high-quality studio environment. Finally, we are adopting more effective codecs for video to lower the bitrate by up to 50% without any noticeable loss in video quality.

Privacy & Security

We take great responsibility in the fact that customers who use Microsoft 365 and Teams are entrusting us with their most valuable assets – their company data. Our approach to data privacy is grounded in our commitment to giving you transparency over the collection, use and distribution of your data.

Last year, we implemented advanced security measures including the adoption of Trusted Types and the implementation of a more stringent Content Security Policy. By using Trusted Types, we are making Teams more resilient to cross-site scripting attacks. We have also invested in expanded audit-logging and fine-tuned our authentication methods to authorize blocks in the initial contact flows, preventing threats from suspicious external users.

We’re also taking steps to identify and alert unsafe contact attempts from unfamiliar external users and block suspicious sign-in attempts from unfamiliar locations or devices. Our continued investment in privacy leak detection tools will help us detect and prevent privacy breaches much faster than before.

Ease-of-Use

Teams is built to serve a wide range of audiences, from small and medium business to enterprise, from the information worker to the frontline worker, business and consumer, and on a variety of devices and platforms across the Microsoft, Google, and Apple ecosystems.

Our approach has been to make a product that is easy for everyone to use. We are providing new tools to manage your messages and notifications, with the ability to “mark all as read” in activity as well as chats and channels. With updates coming this year, you’ll be able to easily organize your list of channels to prioritize those you care about most, helping filter through the noise. When you’re added to a new team, you can select the channels that are relevant to you and you’ll be able to archive a channel that you don’t use anymore – while still maintaining access to its information. You’ll also see recommendations to hide channels that you haven’t accessed for a while, helping keep your Teams tidy and organized. In addition, you can choose to remove the items from activity feed notifications that you don’t need, so you can focus on the things that matter most to you. We’ve also invested in search, making it easier to find what you need. With new features such as “find in chat” and its corresponding keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + F on Windows/Command + F on Mac), you can locate specific messages in even the longest conversations.

Figure 1: Domain-specific search filters like “files”, “group chats”, and “teams and channels” (left) will help you refine search and Figure 1: Domain-specific search filters like “files”, “group chats”, and “teams and channels” (left) will help you refine search and “find in chat” (right) will help you find results within the chat or channel conversation.

Domain-specific search filters like “files”, “group chats” or” teams and channels” can help you narrow down search and get relevant results in less than half a second, which is almost twice as fast as before. With more granular search results in the search box at the top of Teams and search results page, you can now find content more easily. The improved search result experience shows who the message is from, where the message is, attachments, and other relevant information.

No single team is the same, and we are shaping Teams to be simple by default, with power on demand . Teams will adapt to your way of working so you can customize it to suit your preferences. Comfy mode lets you spread out the content to make it less overwhelming and easier to focus on what you are reading. Conversely, compact mode is a denser view that optimizes the use of your screen space so you can see more content at once. You’ll also be able to change the sounds that accompany your notification toasts to a sound that you choose.

Figure 2: It’s your Teams – you can customize Teams to fit your preferences. Comfy mode (left) lets you spread out the content while compact mode (right) is a denser view that shows more content.Figure 2: It’s your Teams – you can customize Teams to fit your preferences. Comfy mode (left) lets you spread out the content while compact mode (right) is a denser view that shows more content.

We’re also investing in capabilities that will help professional software developers achieve higher efficiency when working in Teams. We are simplifying the process of sharing code in Teams by letting you send blocks of code in chat without any indentation and formatting disruptions. In addition to formatting, you can choose the specific code language for syntax highlighting when you paste or write code. Watch out for more exciting announcements at this year’s Build.

Figure 3: Developers can easily share code in Teams by sending blocks of code in chat without any formatting issues.Figure 3: Developers can easily share code in Teams by sending blocks of code in chat without any formatting issues.

Keyboard shortcuts help users perform common tasks quicker without navigating through menus. While we initially announced keyboard shortcuts were coming to Teams last year, we have continued to add even more. The new shortcuts make it easier to move between different list items such as activity feed and chat threads, which help you get more done with fewer clicks.

We also know that organizational boundaries are unique, and your team might include other companies or external collaborators. A pain point for many people is joining a Teams meeting as a guest. In the coming months, we will enable Teams free users to use their Microsoft account (MSA) to join meetings directly – no more joining as a guest or having to use the web browser. And, best of all, you’ll be able to stay connected after the meeting ends, with the ability to see the meeting chat and start new conversations.

And now Teams can also effortlessly span work and life. Up until now, using Teams for both personal and work has been complicated – with users having to switch between multiple apps to use their work (Entra ID) and personal (MSA) accounts. In the coming weeks, we will release a new unified Teams app that allows you to sign in and switch between these accounts with ease. For commercial customers, the new Teams app is all you need to have this unified experience, providing a single app and a single icon for personal, school or work.

Looking ahead

We hope this blog has given you a glimpse of the many investments we are making across the board in the fundamentals of Teams. We are just getting started, and our goal is to provide more updates like this along the way. Please keep providing feedback, as it truly helps us prioritize the things that will drive the most impact. Thank you for reading, and for choosing Teams!

This post was originally published on this site

- Advertisement -spot_img

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement - Advertisement

Latest News

5 Benefits of In-App Notifications for Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM users

For a successful sales process, you need to stay up-to-date with crucial sales information like deal closures, opportunities won,...

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -spot_img