Microsoft Teams has had a performance upgrade. Can you tell the difference?





Microsoft claims it has improved the performance of Teams in the core usage scenarios messaging as well as calls and meetings. 

With features spanning group video and audio meetings, chats and messaging, Teams has become a big app that heavily consumes CPU and graphics as well as energy.  

For the past year, Microsoft has been working “Teams 2.0”, which has included moving from the Angular to React HTML/JavaScript frameworks, and switching from Electron for building the Teams desktop app for Mac and Windows to WebView2, a part of Chromium Edge for embedding web code in a native app.  

“Investments have included transitioning from Angular framework to React, upgrading Electron (a framework for building desktop applications), reducing re-rendering, and making incremental improvements to the code,” said Mark Longton, a group program manager on Office 365 Microsoft Teams.  

“Our desktop, framework, and performance teams made several foundational improvements and our messaging and calling/meeting teams partnered to optimize the code for targeted user experiences we identified as important to the overall experience.”  

The changes have targeted are performance for customers using Teams desktop for messaging, calling and meetings. 

Recent tests comparing Teams desktop performance today with it in August 2021 indicate the changes have significantly cut latency and page load times for messaging and reduced lags in meetings. 

Looking at Teams for messaging, Microsoft found that latency when scrolling over the chat list has improved by 11.4%, and scrolling over the channel list has improved by 12.1%. Additionally, the compose message box loads 63% faster. 

Page load times are quicker too. Switching to a channel and opening a chat window were improved by 25%; switching threads in the activity feed has improved 17.4%; and switching between chat threads has improved by 3.1%. 

The improvements for Teams used for meetings include a 16% reduction in lag when switching between mute and unmuted audio. Also, navigating to the pre-meeting join screen is much faster and there were also improvements when switching between meetings to chat. 

“Opening a calling/meeting window loaded 4.5% faster. Then once a user is in a meeting switching into a chat improved by 13%, switching to the activity feed improved by 18.7%, and switching to a channel improved by 20%,” says Langton. 

Langton said Microsoft tests for Teams used “anonymized data from the 95th percentile of all desktop users in the world (meaning that 95 percent of the time the experience is better than this metric).” It focuses on the 95th percentile to capture “users on low end devices, users on low bandwidth networks, and incorporate other edge cases that can impact the user experience.” 

Since launching in 2016 as a group-chat app, Microsoft Teams has grown into an all-encompassing collaboration app whose adoption skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of April 2021, it counted 145 million daily active users, up from 44 million in early 2020. In January it changed its measurement from daily to monthly, and said it had 270 million monthly active users. 




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