Microsoft Stresses Software Dependencies for Teams Meeting Add-in

Odd Message Center Notification

In message center notification MC392289 (posted 14 June), Microsoft reminded tenants that the Teams meeting add-in for Outlook depends on the .NET Framework 4.8 and the Edge WebView2 component. The reminder is curious because Microsoft doesn’t issue this kind of warning very often. Something obviously provoked the notification, perhaps an outbreak of support calls where the meeting add-in doesn’t work as well as it should. Or, as Microsoft puts it, “a degraded experience.”

No further details are available about what the degradation involves. Perhaps the add-in can’t insert the deeplink required to connect to Teams meetings or other details into the meeting invitation, like the custom organization logo discussed in yesterday’s post. Microsoft’s documentation for the Teams meeting add-in says that if WebView2 is not installed, users are redirected to a browser interface, “which may provide a degraded experience especially at the time of meeting creation.” The documentation doesn’t mention the .Net framework, and neither does the support document for troubleshooting the Teams meeting add-in.

Edge WebView2

The Edge WebView2 component is important for Teams and Outlook. It is the basis for the development of the new Teams 2.0 client, and it’s used to enable the sharing of components between Outlook desktop and OWA. Since early 2021, Microsoft has included WebView2 in updates for the Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise (Office) suite, and it’s installed with the regular refreshes for the Edge browser. Looking at my PC, the last Edge update was five days ago (Figure 1).

Software updates affecting the Teams meeting add-in on a PC
Figure 1: Software update dates on a Windows PC

Between Edge and the Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise, it should be easy enough to keep the WebView2 component up to speed.

.Net Framework 4.8

We’re left in the dark about the need to keep the .NET Framework current. The framework is used by many Microsoft products, so the assumption is that something in the depths of the add-in needs something in .NET Framework 4.8. An offline installer is available to bring a workstation up to speed, or you can download and install it online. But before you do anything, check the version you have.

The check depends on looking for a value in the system registry (Figure 1).

he version number of the .NET Framework in the system registry
Figure 2: The version number of the .NET Framework in the system registry

You can also check with PowerShell. This command checks if the current version is 4.8 or greater:

(Get-ItemProperty "HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP\v4\Full").Release -ge 528040


No Detail to Back Up Warning

Something always causes large companies like Microsoft to issue warnings to their customers, especially for something like the Teams meeting add-in that’s existed for several years. In this case, it might be that a bunch of recent support incidents has demonstrated that the root cause of many customer problems with the Teams meeting add-in has been due to outdated software components. Or it could be that a recent change in the add-in requires a particular version of the two components.

The nature of Teams and the way that its functionality leverages so many different services and components drawn from across Microsoft 365 makes it more likely that Teams should suffer from dependency defects that other products so. Support organizations like to take proactive steps to reduce an influx of customer problems, so this might be a preemptive strike to help people do the right thing.

In any case, the dearth of information released in MC392289 makes it difficult to say anything else than tenant administrators should keep an eye on what’s installed on user workstations. Just another item to add to an ever-growing checklist.

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