Microsoft Rearchitects Teams for VDI in New Preview Release

A public preview of Microsoft Teams for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments began rolling out this week.

The preview is accessible to Teams users running Azure Virtual Desktop and Windows 365, as well as Citrix DaaS and Virtual Apps and Desktops for Windows endpoints. VMware customers who want to download the preview will get information "shortly," said Microsoft in a blog post Tuesday announcing the preview launch.

"Teams in VDI has been re-architected from the ground up," according to the company. Specifically, Microsoft has ditched WebRTC, an open source technology that's used in many collaboration platforms to facilitate streaming audio and video, in favor of SlimCore, which is already used in the new Teams desktop client that was released last fall.

Adopting SlimCore "will allow parity between the native Teams app and VDI Teams," said Microsoft. "While not all new features can come day-one to VDI, we are no longer limited to what WebRTC supports, hence feature gaps can be closed quicker."

Besides feature parity, Microsoft has done work on performance parity, too, promising to bring the same meeting quality to Teams in VDI as what users expect from Teams on the desktop. This is possible because Microsoft updates the SlimCore media engine automatically in the new Teams for VDI, with no reboots, prompts or upgrades required.

"New features can be introduced in Teams+SlimCore directly, without upgrading your VDI infrastructure," Microsoft said. "Thanks to this mechanism we can guarantee higher quality since we avoid having newer Teams versions interact with outdated stacks in RD Host/Client or Citrix VDA/CWA."

Other improvements include quicker meeting joins and call drops, more reliable screensharing, less downtime and faster case resolutions.

More information on the Teams for VDI preview is available here.

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.


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