If you’re an avid user of the official Microsoft Teams app for Linux there’s changes afoot, and you’ll want to brace yourself for it.
The official Microsoft Teams desktop client for Linux will be retired in early December, Microsoft has announced (fittingly) via the app.
Don’t panic: Microsoft say users will be able to access Microsoft Teams on Linux, but they’ll need to switch over to a new progressive web app (PWA) instead. The old app will stop working.
Why switch? Well, MIcrosoft say the new PWA enables them to bring “the full richness of Microsoft Teams features” to Linux users, including background effects (including blur), reactions, gallery view, and more.
Access to the new Microsoft Teams PWA will be made “available to our Linux customers in the coming months” – one hopes that means before the current Linux app is taken offline rather than after!
There is a catch though: the full Microsoft Teams PWA experience will only be available in Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome web browsers on Linux desktops. Yup, no joy if you use Firefox, which by most measures is the most popular web browser on Linux distributions (which which lacks many PWA features).
“We will continue to invest our development resources [in the PWA]. We are committed to helping all current customers on Linux start using the PWA app; we’ll publish guidance once we are closer to releasing this feature,” they add.
I’ve never used Microsoft Teams but I know many Linux users who do, be it through their own choice or the insistence of their boss! While the Electron-based desktop Linux app Microsoft launched in late 2019 wasn’t perfect it was a traditional solution many were happy with.
But not all. As one Linux user commented on Reddit: “a competent webapp will be an improvement”…
A blog post about this change and details on how to install Teams as a PWA on Edge and Chrome for Linux will, Microsoft say, be made in due course.