IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Microsoft Teams now uses 50% less power than when it first launched

It has been a long-term goal of Microsoft to make the Team experience equitable across high and low-performance hardware

Microsoft has said its Teams app now uses 50% less power when running video calls and meetings, thanks to a range of performance improvements it has implemented since 2020. 

Microsoft Teams can be especially demanding for users of low-end devices that lack the adequate hardware processing capabilities of more expensive models, Microsoft said, especially with functions like meetings with multiple video streams or sharing one's screen with a group.

Ongoing optimisations to the collaboration platform have improved the experiences for many business users and have led to reduced energy costs, Microsoft said, as it outlined the timeline of its optimisation releases over the past few years.

"One of the challenges brought on by the ubiquity of Teams is the need to create equitable experiences across an incredibly diverse Windows device ecosystem," said Robert Aichner, principal group program manager at Microsoft.

"We’re committed to ensuring great calling and meeting experiences for users on low-end hardware as well as those on high-end workstations and high-resolution monitors. One of the factors we’ve addressed is the difference in power requirements for different customer profiles by ensuring Teams meetings are as energy-efficient as possible, regardless of setup."

Microsoft measured the improvements by creating a testing framework that accounted for different energy-demanding scenarios, such as video meetings and screen sharing, to evaluate the critical processes associated with them to identify optimisation opportunities. Such processes included content capture, encoding, and rendering.

Graph showing the timeline of optimisations made by Microsoft and indicators of how much each contributed to performance increases

Microsoft

Over the course of 17 months, Microsoft made changes to these processes, starting with video capture optimisation in October 2020, involving a reduction in CPU load when the camera was enabled. This delivered the most significant performance increase, with a 27% drop in power consumption.

Specifically, Microsoft focused on camera optimisations that targeted reduced CPU load in meetings and reducing code complexity in areas such as auto-exposure, auto-white balance, and auto-aliasing.

This was followed by consolidating multiple screen elements for a single render process in February 2021, which brought an additional 14% decrease in power use. Incremental optimisations made over the following year delivered small improvements, slowly building to a peak performance improvement of 52%.

Related Resource

Minimising downtime risk with resilient edge computing

Add value with on-premise edge computing

Whitepaper cover with green copy showing title and Schneider Electric logoFree Download

"Similar to our other performance improvement initiatives, these power consumption improvements are subjected to progressive testing to validate the intended benefits across customers and environments," said Aichner. "Additionally, we evaluate each new planned Teams feature to ensure existing processing efficiencies are not compromised.

"So while we continue to launch innovative Teams features to help people connect and collaborate in new ways, we’re also dedicated to making sure these experiences are optimised for all users, regardless of their network and devices."

Featured Resources

Activation playbook: Deliver data that powers impactful, game-changing campaigns

Bringing together data and technology to drive better business outcomes

Free Download

In unpredictable times, a data strategy is key

Data processes are crucial to guide decisions and drive business growth

Free Download

Achieving resiliency with Everything-as-a-Service (XAAS)

Transforming the enterprise IT landscape

Free Download

What is contextual analytics?

Creating more customer value in HR software applications

Free Download

Recommended

Windows 11's nifty new search feature has one major downside
Microsoft Windows

Windows 11's nifty new search feature has one major downside

23 May 2022
Microsoft says it's provided over $100 million in tech support to Ukrainian government
cyber attacks

Microsoft says it's provided over $100 million in tech support to Ukrainian government

20 May 2022
Microsoft to double salary budget to retain workers
Careers & training

Microsoft to double salary budget to retain workers

17 May 2022
Microsoft warns of new botnet variant targeting Windows and Linux systems
Security

Microsoft warns of new botnet variant targeting Windows and Linux systems

16 May 2022

Most Popular

16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

13 May 2022
Preparing for the 3G sunset
Network & Internet

Preparing for the 3G sunset

18 May 2022
(ISC)2 launches free scheme to get 100,000 UK citizens into cyber security
Careers & training

(ISC)2 launches free scheme to get 100,000 UK citizens into cyber security

17 May 2022