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Run Microsoft Teams online with Awingu: MS Teams Web is now a full alternative to the desktop client version

Awingu supports voice and video calling through Microsoft Teams with the new ‘Teams Web Client’. Users securely authenticate into their Awingu workspace on the browser and have Single Sign On access to Teams Online.

At Awingu, one of the frequent questions we used to get was: can we run ‘Skype for Business’ in Awingu. Unfortunately, this was not supported. Running ‘Skype for Business’ in a published desktop or RemoteApp and then translating it into HTML5 didn’t give an acceptable experience. To be honest, Microsoft themselves didn’t support this in RDS/VDA either. Also in the just-launched ‘Windows Virtual Desktop’ service, Teams calling and meetings are not supported right now: “The Teams calling and meeting experience isn’t optimized for a VDI environment”. (source, Oct 10th, 2019)

 The only solutions on the market that did offer a degree of support were relying on local agents, plug-ins, etc. This didn’t fit with our ‘non-intrusive’ implementation vision. That, plus the fact that we knew Microsoft was evolving it’s UC portfolio with rich ‘online’ capabilities.

 I think it’s fair to state that that moment is now. Microsoft Teams Online (i.e. the HTML5 version which runs inside your browser using the Teams Web Client) is a very rich platform, and it keeps evolving rapidly. You can follow the Teams roadmap here. The experience is not the same for all browsers, but with great support for Chrome, they already go a long way.

Desktop Client vs. Web Client

 The first thing you’ll notice is that the Desktop Client and the Web Client have an almost identical interface and navigation.

Teams Online (Teams Web Client) running on Chrome in macOS
Teams Desktop Client running on Windows 10

Let’s run through the main feature sets (in this case Teams Web Client in Chrome on Windows 10 vs. Teams Desktop Client on Windows 10).

Online chat (1-1/Group)
Agenda management
‘Meet now’
Voice calls (incl PSTN break-out*)
Video calls

Yes, when ‘Meet Now’ and planned meetings. Not (yet) from chat where only voice and text is supported at this time

Screensharing (full desktop, selected apps, multi monitor setup)

Yes (more limited however, browser notifications required)

File access (OneDrive)

* only with eligible subscription at Microsoft

As the summary table above shows, all the main features now are both supported on Web Client and Desktop Client. The differences are a lot more subtle. The voice and video quality – as we played with it – were a bit in the advantage of the Desktop Client still. That said, the Web Client provides a perfectly workable experience and has become my personal default.

Example: video calling in Teams Web Client in Chrome on Windows 10
About the web client

“The web client is a full, functional client that can be used from a variety of browsers. The web client supports Calling and Meetings by using webRTC, so there is no plug-in or download required to run Teams in a web browser. The browser must be configured to allow third-party cookies.” (source, Oct 10th 2019)

Teams fully supports the following internet browsers, with noted exceptions.

Internet Explorer 11

Calling and Meetings aren’t supported. Users who try to join a meeting on Internet Explorer 11 will be directed to download the Teams desktop client.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium-based)

Calling and Meetings are fully supported

Microsoft Edge

Calling and Meetings supported on Edge RS2 or later

Google Chrome

Meetings supported on Chrome 59 or later. As of July 3, 2019, screen sharing is supported without any plug-ins or extensions. Calling is now supported.

Mozilla Firefox

Calling and Meetings aren’t supported. Users who try to join a meeting on Firefox will be directed to download the Teams desktop client.

Safari 11.1+

Safari is enabled on versions higher than 11.1 in preview. While in preview, there are known issues with Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention.

Note: As long as an operating system can run the supported browser, Teams is supported. For example, running Firefox on the Linux operating system is an option for using Teams.

Microsoft Teams online and Awingu

Why this is very cool for Awingu users? They can now link Teams Online in their Awingu workspace, and in Single Sign On, open Teams in a second browser tab. To achieve the SSO, admins can leverage Awingu pre-authentication capabilities (available as of Awingu 4.2) in which they leverage Azure AD as master authentication service. Alternatively, they can use Awingu as IDP (identity provider) and use Awingu’s SSO capability with Office 365.

As a result: users can securely access their legacy apps, desktops, files, Office 365 and Teams from any device, managed or unmanaged in a very consistent and simple way.

Example: an Awingu workspace populated with Microsoft Teams Online; when clicked Teams Online will open in a 2nd browser tab

Want to find out more and see Awingu in action? Reach out to us!

Note: Teams is not configured in our public demo accounts for security reasons.

About the author
arnaud square
Arnaud Marliere

Chief Sales & Marketing Officer

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