Microsoft to kill Windows 11 Chat integration, replace with free Teams

Can't wait for Windows to replace one Teams app I don't use with another Teams app I won't use

Microsoft will remove the built-in Teams client — dubbed ‘Chat’ — that’s bundled with Windows 11 in favour of a free, standalone app that will also come to Windows 10.

The company highlighted the change in a recent blog post, noting that Chat has a new name: ‘Microsoft Teams — Free.’ Teams — Free will be pinned to the Windows taskbar by default, though it can be unpinned like any other app starting in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23481 before eventually rolling out to everyone.

The deep integration of Chat into Windows 11 was a staple feature at launch and was billed as a way for people to use Teams to stay in touch with friends and family. However, the Chat integration was oddly limited to just consumer use, making the integration pointless for the vast majority of people who use Teams for business. Plus people who used the work version of Teams could end up with two versions of Teams on their Windows 11 PCs — one for work and one for personal use.

Interestingly, Chat hasn’t been a dead feature either. Over the last couple years, Microsoft has continued to update and maintain Chat, adding improved video calling features, Discord-like communities and even an AI-powered art generator.

The Verge notes that Microsoft’s sudden decision to kill Chat in Windows 11 comes just a few months after Microsoft reportedly agreed to stop bundling Teams with Office. Back in April, reports indicated Microsoft would stop forcing Office customers to install Teams in an effort to appease EU regulators following a complaint from Teams rival Slack in 2020 about the practice.

While it remains unclear why, exactly, Microsoft decided to kill Chat, it’s possible the company is preemptively reducing the integration with Windows in hopes of avoiding regulatory scrutiny.

Or maybe just not enough people use Chat for Microsoft to keep building the integration. I’m sure there are plenty of people like myself who disable Chat the first time they booted up Windows 11 and never thought about it again.

Source: Microsoft Via: The Verge