Microsoft loves Linux…💔
If you remember Microsoft marketing this, you know this is not entirely true when reading this news.
Microsoft introduced the Linux app for Teams back in 2019 as a public preview. Now, within three years of its existence, they decided to retire the Linux client in early December 2022.
At the time of publishing this, there are no official announcements to address this. However, this news was potentially spotted by an administrator using Microsoft Teams. Probably as one of the internal admin notices (via Hacker News).
The notice mentions:
We will be retiring the Microsoft Teams desktop client on Linux in 90 days (early December), which is currently available in public preview. All users on the Microsoft Teams Linux desktop client will have to transition to the web or PWA version, which is where we will continue to invest our development resources. We are committed to helping all current customers on Linux start using the PWA app; we’ll publish guidance once we are closer to releasing this feature.
Progressive Web App (PWA) to Replace the Linux App
Microsoft says that moving on, they will be offering a Teams progressive web app (PWA) on Linux.
The PWA will support Background blur, custom backgrounds, reactions, and a couple other desktop app-like features. So, for some users, this is good news.
It is not clear when the PWA will be made available, as they only mention that you can expect it in the coming months.
Unfortunately, Mozilla Firefox (one of the best browsers for Linux) does not offer support for PWA.
We hear from you that you want the full richness of Microsoft Teams features on Linux such as background effects, reactions, gallery view, etc. We found the best way to act on this is to offer a Teams progressive web app (PWA) on Linux as a new feature of our current web client, which we’ll make available to our Linux customers in the coming months.
PWA enables us to ship the latest Teams features faster to our Linux customers and helps us bridge the gaps that existed between the Teams desktop client on Linux and Windows. The PWA experience will be available on both Edge and Chrome browsers on Linux.
Suggested Read 📖
What Can You Do Now?
Honestly, Microsoft Teams app on Linux was not a great experience.
Therefore, you should start using the web app or wait for the PWA experience. Of course, it may not be convenient to use Microsoft Edge or Chrome browsers if you use its alternatives. But, that's what it is.
You can also try some unofficial Linux clients, but I'm not certain how good that would work.
💬 What do you think about Microsoft retiring its official Linux app to favor a PWA or its web experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below.