Windows 11’s taskbar chat app integration is now a step closer to release

Windows 11 Chat app

One of the flagship features of Windows 11 is Microsoft
Teams-based Chat app integration right into the taskbar. During
the event, Microsoft said Teams integration in Windows 11 will
allow anyone to launch chats and calls directly from the
taskbar, and it will be free for consumers.

Windows 11 preview builds are now available for Windows
Insiders, but this feature isn’t yet ready for testers. The
company says it will add the chat integration in the Windows 11
taskbar in the coming months and this week’s preview release
suggests the feature is now a step closer to public preview.

In
Windows 11 Build 22000.71, Microsoft has added a new group
policy for the chat app, which suggests the company is planning
to enable its Microsoft Teams-powered “Chat” app for everyone.
The new group policy will allow users to configure the “Chat
icon on the taskbar”. If you enable the policy, the Chat icon
will be displayed on the taskbar by default.

However, if you disable or do not configure the policy setting,
the Chat icon will be configured according to the defaults for
your Windows edition.

Windows 11’s Chat app is based on Teams

Windows 11’s Chat app, which replaces
Windows 10’s Meet Now, is based on long-rumoured
Microsoft Teams 2.0.

According to Microsoft, Windows 11’s built-in Chat app will
help users connect more easily with their friends, family and
business contacts, no matter the device they are on.

For example, you’ll be able to perform various actions such as
chatting or launching into a presentation directly from the
taskbar. This experience will be mostly powered by Microsoft
Teams client, but it will be optimized for consumers, similar
to Skype, which can be used by anyone.

Windows 11 Teams chat app

“We want to bring you closer to the things you love, and
connecting with people is at the top of that list,” Panos Panay
said during the event.

By default, Windows 11 consumer SKUs will pin the new Chat app
to the taskbar, but users can turn off the feature via Settings
or Group Policy Editor, similar to the existing Windows 10 Meet
Now integration.

Here are the key benefits of the new Chat app:

  • Connect and collaborate with friends, family, and
    colleagues.
  • Start a quick call with just a link.
  • Get all your recent chats at your fingertips

As mentioned at the outset, Windows 11 taskbar Chat feature
will be based on Microsoft Teams, so users will need to
manually download the standalone app from the Windows Store.

Microsoft is currently not planning to bundle the full-fledged
Teams app with Windows 11.

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