If you thought Microsoft had given up on the battle of being the dominant video conferencing solution, or even the only one, well, you thought wrong. The Redmond software giant has never forsaken those ambitions. They were defeated in the first battle, went back and regrouped, and now they are back!
Microsoft Teams in Windows 11 is intended to narrow your options for the video conferencing apps and fore you in the corner to choose Microsoft teams, at least by default. You may wonder why the start menu moved to the middle of the taskbar in Windows 11. In fact, it’s not just in the center by default, it doesn’t move. In all previous Windows versions, users could move the taskbar to left right or up, until Windows 11. The centered taskbar has the buttons we are used to such Explorer, Edge, Search and Store. The new vibrant button addition is the Microsoft Teams button. You can’t miss it. Don’t pretend to.
The Video Conferencing Boom
Microsoft tried to push Microsoft teams during the fast COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 when the whole world was all of a sudden forced work from. People were scrambling to adapt to new video conferencing solutions. Those solutions that were found ready (barely) were instantly propelled to mainstream solutions. This is what made Zoom a necessity. Zoom meeting this Zoom that. Between December 2019 and April 2020 zoom recorded a 21% jump in total meeting minutes per day. Working class people forced to work from home the world were learning about Zoom as an alternative to going to actual meetings. No one hesitated to in getting or learning Zoom.
Google and Microsoft realized the advantage Zoom had gained over them in just a few months, the staggering usage statistics and the general adoption. The software giants must have got jealousy. Zoom had become a word meaning video conferencing. Google aside, Microsoft was the king of office work solutions. With their solutions like Office, Office 365, SharePoint all the other products. How could Zoom take this away from them?
Microsoft Teams As A Contender
Microsoft Teams underwent a lot of changes and upgrades to try to give it to the people who were also new to video conferencing as a daily experience. They wanted to disrupt and cut into the new Zoom audience. This didn’t go so well. Some people didn’t even get to the point where they have to choose between Zoom and Microsoft Teams – they didn’t know Teams at all. Every time a survey was conducted to determine what they prefer, many people confessed to have never seen Teams. The Redmond software giant wasn’t happy with this. They threw a lot of resources and intensively started improving Microsoft Teams, giving it features similar to what the few people who knew it still admired in Zoom.
After months of development, improvement, feature additions and intense marketing campaigns, Microsoft Teams started showing up on the radar of video conferencing software. At least an average corporate person was now aware of what Microsoft Teams was. They knew what it did. They knew it worked like Zoom, to Microsoft’s anger, again.
Post Pandemic Workplaces and Tools
By the beginning of 2021, Microsoft had got Teams to a decent user experience, nice new features and awesome functionality. Now the biggest question was, how do they get all people using other products onto Microsoft Teams? It turns out that question was answered the day the Windows 11 idea was conceived. Give people a fresh start, a (mostly) new version on Windows. Make it focused on connectivity from the start. Present Teams has the most viable option, by default. With Windows 11, Microsoft presented its self with an opportunity to take teams mainstream, to dominate. We have all accepted that things have changed, forever. The workplace has forever changed and so have the office technologies.
Microsoft wants us to move on from the pandemic and all its experiences. Windows 11, they are saying, is the post pandemic operating system. Microsoft Teams is how people connect now. And they know you may know a few other options out there but you have to move on, like you moved on from the pandemic. When you get back to your changed workplace, find an OS and a whole set of tools tailored to help you accept and thrive in the new normal.