Enhanced security in the new Teams Client

Microsoft has recently announced a new version of the Microsoft Teams desktop app. For an overview of architectural changes in the new Teams, read “Advantages of the new architecture”. In this blog post, we will describe some of the security improvements this new Teams version brings.

Also, the new desktop client footprint goes from 134 MB down to 12 MB as it reuses WebView2 which is shared with Edge.

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New Teams app for Windows hits preview; GA slated for June

I suggest you read Mary Jo Foley’s analysis. She is always on top of things. My own findings:

  • The Windows client is a complete rewrite. Users will be able to switch back and forth, for a while.
  • The new Teams up looks akin to the consumer version of Teams, that already has been made available in GA.
  • Microsoft claims twice the speed and half the memory requirements. Here is your incentive to move soon.
  • The rewrite moves the architecture from Custom HTML/JS on top of Angular on top of Electron to a new stack based on Microsoft WebView2. It contains three layers: Fluent, React, and a client data layer.
  • There is now a multitude of for-pay options like Teams Premium, or a Teams Copilot. You can make it as expensive as Microsoft desires. I see some contract work coming up.
  • Not important for most users, but a must-have for almost all IT guys: multi-tenant login with notifications from all tenants. Hooray.

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Microsoft Teams Rooms Pro & Basic

Announcement from Microsoft:

Meet Microsoft Teams Rooms Pro. Teams Rooms Pro is a new offer that brings together the value of our existing Teams Rooms features, new innovations, and the Teams Rooms managed service platform—all in one license. Teams Rooms Pro simplifies the purchasing process for our customers and delivers the collective benefits of our advancements in both hybrid meeting experiences and device management.

Teams Rooms Pro will deliver the latest hybrid meeting experiences with a focus on inclusivity, ease of use, flexibility, security, and management. Let’s look at some of the features available or coming soon to Teams Rooms Pro. … More >

Teams Rooms Pro is available now at USD40 per user/month

It’s a lot cheaper for small customers:

Microsoft Teams Rooms Basic makes it easier for small businesses to create hybrid meeting experiences. Teams Rooms Basic provides foundational Teams meeting experiences like scheduling, joining meetings, and wireless content sharing. For customers needing core management and hybrid meeting features, we recommend Teams Rooms Pro.

Teams Rooms Basic is included with the purchase of any certified Teams Rooms device at no additional cost purchased on or after September 1, 2022. Customers can apply up to 25 Basic licenses to their tenant.

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New on Microsoft Teams on Android

In partnership with Cisco, you’ll now be able to join Cisco WebEx meetings through Microsoft Teams. After you enable Direct guest join though settings, schedule a new Cisco WebEx meeting or forward an existing meeting to the Teams Room on Android. The meeting will appear on the calendar and will be available to join.

Note: Direct guest join Cisco WebEx will be initially available on Poly. Other manufacturers will receive it shortly after.

This answers a question I have always had with Teams Room devices.

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Microsoft Teams native on Apple silicon

Microsoft says:

We are rolling out a production grade universal binary version of Teams, which means it will run natively on the entire Mac lineup, including those with Apple silicon. For Mac users, this means a significant boost in performance, ensuring efficient use of device resources and an optimized Teams experience even when using multiple high-resolution monitors during calls or meetings.

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Goodbye Teams, hello Discord

A couple of years ago, I created a forum on the ginlo messenger, motivated by two things: give the messenger a push, because my friend Stefan Rubner worked there, and secondly because I wanted to have a place for readers on my site to discuss amongst themselves. I called it vowe’s magic flying circus and it quickly was referred to as the circus.

The circus has been moving a lot, and each time we lost the dead wood. People who had signed up but were not really interested in contributing. If you do not actively contribute, you will lose interest in even reading it. We moved to Microsoft Kaizala, then Telegram, then Signal, and two years ago to Microsoft Teams. I am happy that we moved away from Telegram which has become a dumpster fire.

Teams has proven to be too much overhead for our small operation. You really need to be a Microsoft ship with AAD (Azure Active Directory) to make this work. This is a SNAFU of Microsoft Accounts, AAD Accounts, and everything in-between. I had hopes for the private edition in Windows 11, but that has proven to be utterly useless. It’s closer to Skype than Teams, but not interoperable with Skype. Since I am an active Skype user, something had to give. From my daily use of Skype I know that Skype chat is useless with a few dozen people. I started looking elsewhere.

Two days ago, I started creating two alternative solutions, one built on Keybase.io (yes, it’s more than a directory) and the other one on Discord. And it quickly became obvious that Discord is the better solution.

Automatic translation in Skype and Teams

On Clubhouse I collaborate with people who do not speak each others’ language. There is a backchannel chat but we would have to copy & paste from translation apps.

Skype saves the day. You can enable automatic translation into your own language. No matter what your partner throws at you, it quickly gets translated. This is so amazing.

The same service is also available for Teams, of course.

My screen (left) shows everything in English, her screen shows everything in Japanese. We write in our own language.
Another example: Elsie’s screen (left) shows everything in Mandarin while I mix German and English.

Teams built into Windows 11

Hello Windows Insiders, today we’re beginning to roll out new Windows 11 consumer experiences to bring you closer to the people you love, your friends and family, using Microsoft Teams. This includes a sleek new Chat flyout right off the taskbar as well as an overall Teams desktop experience architected for optimized performance and the Windows 11 design language. You can remain connected to the people you care about with chats and video calls from the convenience of your Windows 11 PC, while they can participate from any device with Microsoft Teams: desktop, mobile, or even just a web browser.

Brandon Le Blanc

I have the Insider Build of Windows 11 on my Surface Pro X, which is an ARM device. It’s running much better than the latest Windows 10 build, and it also looks more modern. Now Microsoft has started to rollout Teams on this build. I am logged in with my private Microsoft account.

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Surface Headphones 2+ for Business mit Teams Zertifizierung

Die Microsoft Surface Headphones 2 habe ich schon lange und ich liebe sie für die tolle Bedienung mittels zwei großer Stellräder auf den Ohrmuscheln. Links ANC, rechts Lautstärke. Klangqualität, Geräuschunterdrückung und Sprachverständlichkeit sind ordentlich. Besser würde es nur mit einem Mikrofonarm werden. Was mich aber stets wunderte: Warum liefert Microsoft keine Teams-Variante? Diese Woche habe ich nun einen Surface Headphones 2+ ausprobiert.

Surface Headphones 2+ mit ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

Viel neues gibt es nicht zu berichten. Den 2+ liegt ein USB-Dongle Microsoft Surface USB Link bei, über das die Teams-Zertifizierung erreicht wird. Außerdem wird die Mute-Taste zum Teams-Button umfunktioniert. Damit ruft man mit einem Knopfdruck Teams in den Vordergrund und verbindet Anrufe oder tritt Meetings bei. Der Teams-Status wird mit der LED im Surface USB Link angezeigt.

ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 mit Microsoft USB Link und Surface Headphones 2+

Der wesentliche Vorteil der Headphones 2 und Headphones 2+ gegenüber dem Vorgänger Headphones ist die Unterstützung des proprietären aptX-Codecs von Qualcomm, der für eine verlustfreiere Bluetooth-Verbindung beim Mediankonsum führt. iPhone-Anwender hilft das allerdings nichts, denn dort wird AAC eingesetzt. Der Microsoft USB Link kann ebenfalls kein aptX, was im Einsatzszenario Office Work auch unerheblich ist.

Wer keinen Unterschied zwischen aptX und SBC hört, sollte aptX in der Surface Audio App abschalten. Die 18 Stunden Laufzeit erreicht der Kopfhörer nur ohne aptX und bei geringer Lautstärke. Bei Sprachanrufen soll der 2+ bis zu 15 Stunden durchhalten. Ich habe es nicht probiert. Ich denke, bei Microsoft hat auch niemand die Übersetzung der technischen Spezifikation gelesen. 🙂