“We know many of you are waiting for a Teams client for Linux, and we're pleased to confirm we're actively working on it,” she said. “Stay tuned for more information”.
A Teams for Linux client would plug a gap in Microsoft's infrastructure and ensure employees can communicate effectively across all platforms. Though a web client for the app does exist, it naturally isn't as fully featured and optimized as a native one would be.
The Slack War Heats Up
It's also a platform Slack, Microsoft's main competitor, supports. By bundling its workplace chat app with its hugely popular Office 365 suite, Microsoft hopes to win the market. However, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield believes his app's user experience will win large clients over.
In a recent talk, Butterfield noted that Microsoft Teams can't meet the needs of some Fortune 100 clients. A Linux client would be a step towards making the app more desirable, but common complaints about performance and bloat still need to be addressed.
In 2018, Microsoft's Shuphatra previously told UserVoice voters that their request for a Linux client had been denied.
“Hey guys, it has been two years since you asked for this and two years that I have been asking engineering for this and about this,” she said. “At this point, there is no dedicated resource to creating a Linux client and I don't want to string any of you along about it anymore. I'm marking this as declined so we can focus on your other requests.”
After an outpouring of feedback, Microsoft did an about-face the next day, and placed the client on the backlog again. However, it was only in July that it hinted development would happen.
There's no release estimate for the client, and requests for comment from ZDNet have been met with no additional information.