Microsoft Teams for consumers is coming later this year with new features

Microsoft Teams iOS
Microsoft Teams iOS (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Teams is getting new consumer features for home life.
  • Makes organizing your personal life easier with friends and family.
  • Coming later this year.

Microsoft has today announced that Microsoft Teams a service in use by over 44 million people for work, will soon be getting new consumer-focused features designed for keeping families and friends connected. These new features will be coming to the existing Microsoft Teams client, and will show up in preview first on iOS and Android in the coming months.

The new features will let users stay connected in their personal life with an overview of events, locations, and files shared by members of your family or friend group in the form of a dashboard. There's also a central group chat, which will let you send texts or make video calls with the whole family, as well as share photos and videos.

Microsoft is positioning Microsoft Teams as the ultimate tool for work and home life. No longer is Microsoft Teams aimed primarily at remote working; it's now also about organizing your personal life and staying connected with your loved ones. Using the same productivity focused client that Teams already has, but with new consumer-facing features.

The new Microsoft Teams features will be launching later this year, so Microsoft recommends customers use Skype to stay in contact with friends and family in the meantime. Skype recently saw usage increase by 52 percent in the recent weeks, as more and more people are working from home.

What are your thoughts on the Microsoft Teams branching out as a consumer product? Let us know in the comments.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

15 Comments
  • I am hoping this catches on and takes over from the patchwork of group chat apps that I am forced to use now.
  • I love Teams. The only thing it will need by this point is a way to be logged in to multiple accounts at once, or at least to switch between accounts quickly, so I can have my work and my home account.
  • ^^ This needs to be done ^^ My current workaround is using Teams app for my main account and then using teams.microsoft.com as a web app using a web browser (currently have Brave, Vivaldi, Opera, and Edge for the other accounts as web apps)
  • Edgium has the ability to pin different accounts to the taskbar. I imagine you could do the same with pining them to start as a web app!
  • My Teams app on Android has an option in settings to "Add Account". After logging into my personal account, I now have quick access to different "orgs" in the hamburger menu.
    It worked pretty slick last week, but when I tried to test it before making this post I had to sign out and back into my personal account because it kept telling me that I had lost access to my personal org.
    Unfortunately, it's those kinds of bugs that will deter the uncommitted from using it. I've tried several times to convince my teenage kids with a study group to set up a team, but they refuse to take the plunge, instead forging ahead with Discord as their communication app of choice.
  • Well calling it "Teams" was a poor choice as that is decidedly work-like. Maybe that can be overcome but I think all the functionality of Teams that business loves will be intimidating in the consumer world. I use Teams at work and prefer it over SfB or Zoom, but understand that comparing user simplicity vs Zoom (which I assume is why the are jumping into this space) will definitely see more people going with Zoom. Team will need some cool consumer-ish features to jump into the market and make a dent in all the other solutions.
  • I don't think the name "teams" will be an issue, because of Kids sports we use TeamSnap which is a sports focused chat app. and even after the season is over many of the parents continue to use it instead of Facebook or SMS because of it's ease. if MS Teams can provide a usable and easy onboarding tool, the name wont be a problem.
  • The problem is the association the name has with work and businesses.
  • Like "Office"? It's literally called the place where people go to work and it's doing just fine in homes, too.
  • I love teams as well but many of my colleagues think it is complicated and they use Zoom more. Although WhatsApp has the consumer space on lock, I'd love to see teams get traction in the consumer space.
  • They can't even keep the current surge of users running. How will they keep consumers running?
  • A - I think the situation is unique with this surge.
    B - I suspect the consumer growth will be more predictable and manageable than a pandemic level surge of instant increase with a lot of it being video conferencing.
  • Future replacement for Skype?
    How are family members going to use it, through personal MS accounts?
  • Yes, Teams is the replacement for Skype for Business at least.
  • I think they should have done it much sooner. The should have ditched skype years ago, and go all in with Teams.