Throughout the pandemic, Microsoft Teams has gained a ton of new users. Today, that number sits at over 145 million daily active users who flock to the platform. Some of these folks work from home, and others use Microsoft Teams for personal matters.
But during the pandemic, another not-so-surprising crowd of new users began leveraging Microsoft Teams for distance learning purposes – students.
Microsoft Teams reportedly has 100 million student users, according to Business Insider. The news organization reported that Eran Megiddo, corporate vice president, Windows Product & Education, Microsoft, shared with Microsoft employees:
The platform has grown to 100 million student users, a number that appears to have risen by 30 million students since the beginning of the 2020 academic year that began in September, for the sake of clarification.
There was only one problem, those using multiple Microsoft Teams accounts for school, work, and personal ventures had to constantly toggle back and forth to access their various Teams accounts. Since February 2021, Microsoft says that it has been rolling out a feature that would let users bypass this cumbersome step for desktop versions of Teams. The new feature rollout appears to now be widely available.
What is important to note is that Microsoft Teams does not support having two work/school accounts open simultaneously – just one of each. The functionality, however, does still provide a user experience boost – namely for someone who works a remote job during the day while working on their MBA (virtually) in the evenings – via the Teams platform.
Hoping to avoid any potential confusion or embarrassment, the icons of the two instances of Microsoft Teams are slightly different. If you use the personal version of Teams, the logo appears inside a white circle. Work and school accounts merely display the MS Teams logo.
Microsoft’s deeper dive into the commercial space
Since the start of the pandemic, Microsoft seems to have had two goals with its popular Teams chat app – getting it into the hands of consumers and enhancing the virtual work experience for enterprise users.
More recently, Microsoft announced that it had gotten one step closer to capturing more of the commercial Teams end-user market, writing that it would integrate Microsoft Teams into the newest version of its operating system – Windows 11.
Set for release by the end of 2021, Windows 11 will have the Teams chat functionality built into the taskbar. And Microsoft is quite transparent about its goals, too, with senior leadership opening up about it in a company blog post. In the post – Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer, Windows/Devices, Microsoft, wrote:
“Now you can instantly connect through text, chat, voice or video with all of your contacts, anywhere, no matter the platform or device they’re on. Users can do this across Windows, Android, or iOS devices. If the person you are connecting to on the other end has not downloaded the Teams app – you can still connect with them via two-way SMS.”
As a part of the Microsoft Teams makeover – the team collaboration app will be rebranded as Teams 2.0. It should also undergo a significant overhaul, too: one that could put Microsoft Teams further ahead of the likes of Zoom and Slack – and in maintaining the number one spot of team collaboration leader.