Teams Chat taskbar integration is being removed from Windows 11
Microsoft is removing the Teams Chat taskbar integration from Windows 11. The app's menu is being replaced with a plain shortcut.
Windows 11 will soon let you unpin Teams Chat app
When Windows 11 was launched, Microsoft went a little nuts and decided to split a chat service that was meant for work and school, and released Teams for Personal users. The problem was that you could not access your contacts from work, so it had an entirely different set of contacts. And since nobody used it, it just ended up as bloatware.
Hey, couldn't we disable the Chat icon in Windows 11 already? Well, that is true, but it only hid the icon, it did not remove the app per se. Does that mean Teams is no longer pre-installed on Windows 11? Tough luck, the app is still pre-installed. This time, however, the Teams Chat taskbar integration is being removed, i.e. the flyout menu and its functionality are being deprecated. The old icon will be replaced with a Teams Chat shortcut, which acts like a regular pinned app. So essentially you don't have to jump through some screens to hide the icon, you can just right-click on it to unpin the icon. From what I can tell, you will have to uninstall the app manually, but that's quite easy to do. Some reports claim that the app gets removed when you unpin it from the Taskbar, I cannot verify whether this is true.
One thing's for sure, as Windows Central puts it, Microsoft is killing Windows 11's Chat feature. The report also mentions that the change is in the latest dev channel build of the Windows Insider Program, which is Build 23481. I installed the latest version in my virtual machine, but the option doesn't show up for me, probably because it is being A/B tested. I wonder if the removal of the integration would have a positive impact on the system's performance. Either way this is surely for the better, if you want to use Teams, you open the shortcut to get the app. If you don't like it, discard it with a couple of clicks. This is how it should have been in the first place. Hopefully, this change will roll out to the stable channel of the operating system soon, there's a good chance it might.
But, why is Microsoft doing this? Is it finally listening to feedback from users? Probably not. A blog article by Windows Latest suggests that it is likely that the Redmond company could have made the change after some antitrust concerns in the European Union came to light. In 2020, Slack viewed the inclusion of Teams in Microsoft Office products as giving its rival an unfair competitive advantage, and raised a complaint with regulators in the EU. Recently, a spokesperson for the European Commission had revealed that other complainants had brought up the issue as well, and that they were assessing the situation. Now, if we could only get the EU to tell Microsoft to fix File Explorer.
Bye bye Teams Chat, you won't be missed.Advertisement