Microsoft has announced that its business communications platform, Microsoft Teams, will be natively integrated into Windows 11 at launch.
The app's new prominent placement on the operating system's Start menu was one of the biggest reveals from the 'What next for Windows' event on Thursday, with Panos Panay, Microsoft's chief product officer, explaining how it will be a quicker way for users to launch and create Teams meetings.
This won't be a direct installation of the app, rather a selection of its functions readily available in the Start menu. For the full services, users will still need to download Microsoft Teams, which will be available via the Microsoft Store.
"Now you can instantly connect through text, chat, voice or video with all of your personal contacts, anywhere, no matter the platform or device they're on, across Windows, Android or iOS," the company said in a blog post. "If the person you're connecting to on the other end hasn't downloaded the Teams app, you can still connect with them via two-way SMS."
The integration is a nod towards the success of Teams over the course of the pandemic and how it is at the forefront of our changing approaches to work. The service surpassed 145 million daily active users back in April, and it has undergone a number of changes over the last 12 months to reposition it as a tool for the hybrid workforce.
However, while Teams took top billing for the Windows 11 event, Skype was hardly spoken of, leading many to suggest it has been pushed out. Skype was originally integrated as an "inbox app" as part of Windows 10, similar to how Teams will function as part of Windows 11, but it was noticeably absent from Thursday's promotional material.
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Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.
Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognise him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.