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Microsoft Teams public preview gets refreshed look to feel 'more modern and lightweight'

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

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Teams has a refreshed look rolling out to public preview users.
  • The refreshed look includes adjusted dark mode colors and drop shadows between panels.
  • The new colors are in public preview now, but the other changes start shipping in mid-February.

Microsoft is rolling out an improved look for Microsoft Teams to public preview users. The improved design is built to feel "more modern and lightweight," according to Microsoft (opens in new tab). Teams users in public preview should soon see an improved dark theme, drop shadows between panels, and icons with Microsoft's Fluent Design language.

The color and styling changes, including a darker dark theme, are already rolling out to public preview users. The other changes, including the new icons within the app, should start shipping in mid-February.

Here are the specific changes, as outlined by Microsoft:

  • Color adjustments to the default and dark themes
  • Added drop shadows between panels
  • Icons updated with Fluent icon set, emphasizing rounded corners

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

One of the more noticeable changes is that the dark theme of Microsoft Teams appears to be significantly darker than the previous dark theme.

The changes are enabled by default if you are in the public preview for Microsoft Teams. To check out the changes, you can join the Microsoft Teams public preview program (opens in new tab).

What do you think of the new changes? Do you think they're improvements over its old design? Let us know in the comments below.

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

9 Comments
  • They keep adding features, but come on damn it, please put the video participants at the TOP of the window and not at the bottom. That's where your camera is!
  • Except for those funny Dell users... But yeah, this bothers me too. Confession: I find I often watch my own feed when I'm talking (maybe to make sure I'm not doing anything stupid?). I sometimes wish I could that up by the camera too.
  • This is a nice touch. Though best if they can really optimised the app further to actually feels lightweight and not bloated on memory. For corporate environments where there will be business who don't have the latest and the greatest, running 4 or 5 year old hardware
    Microsoft Teams can be taxing on system resources always running on the background, sometimes or randomly but not often, also experience memory leak. Better have 16GB machine with Teams just on the safe side. 8GB memory is still fine, but Teams I guess have a bug taking more more memory space, even constant high CPU utilization during calls.
  • It's interesting because it's not like Electron apps can't be made to be snappy. Sure, that's the exception but there are well optimized Electron apps. Case in point: Discord. I have never seen *any* desktop app that snappy, let alone an Electron app.
  • Interesting Facebook icon in the taskbar...
  • In comparing this with the current view (they're very similar), I think I have a minor complaint: the main window background here is the lightest, main navigation is in the middle, and the left rail selector is the darkest. That's fine aesthetically, BUT, it's bad for battery life on OLED laptops (and power consumption on OLED in general). The current view (what we're using now before we get this update) reverses that with the darkest background being the main window and the left rail being the lightest. For OLED battery life, the biggest window should be the darkest, using lighter grays for the smaller component. It also seems that you'd want the highest contrast in the areas with the most text, which would be the main window, not the left rail.
  • Can they make Teams not use 17TB RAM, and make it snappy like Discord.
    Hmmmm Kay thanks.
  • Teams uses less memory on my PC than WhatsApp desktop, Edge or Chrome...
  • Hmm. Why does this "modern" UI (Fluent) look like something from 1980s? Flat one colour icons on a flat black/white background? MS already tried this with Metro and people hated it. I remember showing my Windows Phone to my wife and she laughed - "why are the only two colours? It looks ugly." Everyone went with iphone because, and this is a thing that MS just doesn't seem to get; _people love eye candy_. It does not matter if it makes the product more productive or not - but if a tool (app) you use daily looks like a DOS program people don't want to use it. Those lickable icons etc made iPhone popular. And when I say "people" I don't mean IT nerds, I mean the general public.