No Emulation, Just Faster (for Teams)
Microsoft has released a native ARM64 version of the Teams desktop client. Yesterday’s announcement in a LinkedIn post by Bill Weidenborner, a senior program manager in Teams development, noted that the new ARM64 client can be downloaded from the Teams clients page (you can also download the Teams_Windows_arm64 image direct from here). The new client is identical to the other desktop versions.
The Need for a Native ARM App
As noted in Microsoft’s documentation for the Surface Pro X, “Native ARM64 and Microsoft Store UWP apps provide an excellent user experience utilizing the full native speed of the ARM-based processor while optimizing battery life.”
The other Office apps (aka Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise) are also available for ARM. Up to now it’s been possible for users of ARM devices like the Surface Pro X to run Teams in emulation mode on ARM (slow) or using the Edge browser (faster), a native desktop client is a better option for many. In addition, availability of applications like Office and Teams passes a message to developers that perhaps Windows on ARM is a viable platform for them to target.
Better Performance and Stability
Microsoft plans to upgrade users running the 32-bit version of Teams on ARM to the native client the next time Teams updates itself. People who have already updated to the native client report that it’s working without problems and performing better (see notes on Teams User Voice).
In a comment posted to LinkedIn, Rish Tandon, corporate VP for Teams, said: “The difference between emulation and native is night and day, so much so that I can go all day on Surface Pro X, connected to a 4K monitor. If we were travelling, Pro X would be my business travel device of choice!!”
I guess the Teams development boss would have to like the new client, but it’s still good that he does.