As of March, Microsoft's Teams has been available for five years. In that time, Teams' usage has grown exponentially, with Microsoft officials claiming Teams as the 'fastest growing business app' in Microsoft history. But, looking ahead, where does Microsoft Teams go from here?
Microsoft rolled out Teams on March 14, 2017, after being in preview for several months. From the outset, Microsoft made Teams part of Office 365 business subscriptions for no additional cost. In 2018, Microsoft announced Teams would replace Skype for Business product over time. But it wasn't until the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that Teams growth really took off. In November 2019, Teams was at 20 million active users. By March 19, 2020, Teams was at 44 million daily active users. By April 2021, it was at 145 million daily active users.
During the pandemic, Microsoft's group-chat competitor moved from Slack to Zoom. In order to head off Zoom, and to try to grow its share of the group-chat market, Microsoft announced plans to create a set of consumer Teams features aimed at productivity-minded consumers.
According to their roadmap, Microsoft will continue to release new major and incremental features for Teams every week as it has done since launch. The company has been focusing heavily on the telephony features in Teams, and will continue to integrate Teams with more products and services in the Microsoft stack. Experts agree that Microsoft will continue to try to find ways to grow its Teams consumer business beyond embedding Teams Chat in the taskbar on Windows 11.
Microsoft also is working to make Teams for work and school accounts more similar to Teams Consumer from an interface and back-end perspective via its "Teams 2.0" system. Upon this change, Teams desktop will no longer be an Electron app, which could make it faster and perform better.
Teams has been a major focus for Microsoft and its customers since 2017 and likely will remain a major hot spot in terms of new features and functionality for years to come.
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