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December 11, 2019

Microsoft Brings First 365 Application to Linux Desktop

"We are committed to supporting mixed environments"

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft’s rapidly growing Teams application now runs on Linux — the first Microsoft 365 application to come to Linux desktops.

Diversifying the platforms the enterprise collaboration tool runs on gives Redmond a boost in its ongoing head-to-head with rival Slack.

Teams use is soaring according to Microsoft, which reported up to 20 million daily active users in November, from 13 million in July.

Slack meanwhile reports ” 5+ billion weekly actions”.

(Its December 4 quarterly filing shows that the company has just over 105,000 aid customers, up 30 percent year-over-year, but the company continues to report substantial losses — $95.0 million for the quarter — despite strong growth.)

Teams for Linux

Users can download the native Linux packages for Teams in .deb and .rpm formats. (The application bundles together chat, video meetings, calling, and collaboration on Office 365 documents and business processes).

The release is a beta one and users reported some initial bugs.

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Many also suggested that Microsoft should enable more distributions by using Snap or Flatpak (essentially Linux application app stores; Microsoft makes some desktop applications available via Snap, e.g. Visual Studio).

“If Teams was in repositories of most [Linux] distributions, this would greatly improve the user experience”, as one user commented.

Read this: Squirrel Exploit Leaves Microsoft Teams Vulnerable to Privilege Escalation

Microsoft rolled out Volvo as a user of Teams on Linux in a release, with the automotive firm’s Jimmy Beckman saying that until now, Volvo’s Linux’s users have “largely been stuck on a collaboration island with different unofficial and unsupported clients for Skype for Business and more recently Microsoft Teams.”

Beckman added: “With Teams for Linux from Microsoft, we have been able to leave that island and collaborate across our different platforms with the full functionality of a rich client. If I should point out one thing, being able to participate in screen sharing is a huge improvement for the Linux users at Volvo Cars.”

Microsoft’s Marissa Salazar said: “We are committed to supporting mixed environments across our cloud and productivity offerings, and with this announcement, we are pleased to extend the Teams experience to Linux users.

“It’s also an exciting opportunity for developers who have built apps for Teams to be able to grow their reach to this new set of users.”

 

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