Microsoft is getting ready to take away its built-in Microsoft Groups shopper in Home windows 11 almost two years after the mixing was first introduced. The Chat performance might be changed with the extra versatile free model of Microsoft Groups that’s additionally out there as an app for Home windows 10. Microsoft introduced the modifications in a brand new Home windows 11 take a look at construct this week.
“Beginning together with his construct, Chat is now Microsoft Groups – Free,” says Brandon LeBlanc, senior program supervisor at Microsoft, in a blog post. “Microsoft Groups – Free is pinned by default to the taskbar and might be unpinned like different apps on the taskbar.” We requested Microsoft to touch upon why Chat is being eliminated, however the firm hasn’t responded in time for publication.
The unique Groups integration in Home windows 11, named Chat, was deeply woven into the working system. Enabled by default, the Chat app was pinned to the taskbar and also you’d must dig into Settings to take away it. Chat presents customers a manner to make use of Microsoft Groups to contact family and friends. It was weirdly restricted to simply customers although, making it ineffective for the overwhelming majority of Microsoft Groups customers that use the work model of the app. Home windows 11 customers might additionally find yourself with two complicated variations of Groups put in to deal with work calls and private ones.
Up till right this moment, Microsoft had been frequently including new options to Chat inside Home windows 11, with improved video calling options in October and Discord-like communities and an AI artwork device earlier this month. The built-in Chat performance in Home windows 11 was based mostly on the Microsoft Groups 2.0 shopper, which served as the muse for the brand new Microsoft Groups app that’s rolling out to companies in the intervening time.
Microsoft’s resolution to axe Home windows 11’s built-in Groups shopper comes simply days after the corporate introduced plans to finish help for Cortana on Home windows 11 later this yr. It’s almost a brand new monetary yr for Microsoft and the corporate is clearly focusing its efforts elsewhere on new tasks for Home windows, together with its AI-powered Home windows Copilot device.
The modifications to Groups additionally comes simply months after Microsoft reportedly comply with cease bundling Groups with Workplace. The Financial Times reported in April that Microsoft will cease forcing Workplace prospects to have to put in Groups on their units, in a transfer designed to appease EU regulators. Microsoft is attempting to keep away from a proper antitrust probe by the European Fee, after rival Slack filed a criticism in 2020 about Microsoft’s bundling of Groups.