Linux users get an early Christmas gift -- Microsoft Teams

Modern Linux users have it pretty good. In 2019, there are many major players supporting desktop operating systems running the open source kernel. Years ago, it felt like Linux on the desktop was a second class citizen -- switching from Windows was not as easy as it is today. These days, it is totally possible to forgo Microsoft's desktop operating system and still have a high quality computing experience with top-notch software, including video editing and PC gaming.

To show just how far we've come, Microsoft today brings an essential Office 365 program to Linux. No, it isn't Word, Excel, or PowerPoint -- that would be a true miracle. Actually, it is one of the newer Office applications that is seeing a surge in popularity -- Microsoft Teams. This is a top-notch communication and collaboration service. Depending on who you believe, Teams actually has more users than Slack -- a very impressive feat. Now, Microsoft Teams joins Slack on the Linux desktop!

"Starting today, Microsoft Teams is available for Linux users in public preview, enabling high quality collaboration experiences for the open source community at work and in educational institutions. Users can download the native Linux packages in .deb and .rpm formats here. We are constantly improving based on community feedback, so please download and submit feedback based on your experience. The Microsoft Teams client is the first Microsoft 365 app that is coming to Linux desktops, and will support all of Teams’ core capabilities," says Marissa Salazar, Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft.

ALSO READ: Slack for desktop gets a massive speed boost

Salazar further says, "Most of our customers have devices running on a variety of different platforms such as Windows 10, Linux and others. 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."

Jim, Zemlin, Executive Director at The Linux Foundation provides the following statement.

2019 has been another incredible year in open source, and Linux continues to be at the heart of all the growth and innovation. I’m really excited about the availability of Microsoft Teams for Linux. With this announcement, Microsoft is bringing its hub for teamwork to Linux. I’m thrilled to see Microsoft’s recognition of how companies and educational institutions alike are using Linux to transform their work culture.

ALSO READ: Sorry, Microsoft, but your Edge web browser will NEVER be installed on my Linux computer

To download the Microsoft Teams for Linux, simply click here. You can choose from two installer types -- .deb which is typically for Ubuntu, and .rpm which is designed for Fedora. Once you have the file, you would go into terminal and type sudo apt install [.deb file name] or sudo yum install [.rpm file name]. Keep in mind, however, the program is only a public preview, so there may be bugs.

Does this move cement Microsoft as being a Linux advocate? Please tell me in the comments below.

Photo credit:  Ori Artiste / Shutterstock

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