“New” Teams 2.1 and VDI, You better get ready!

One of the topics I recently discussed at the Melbourne UC Meetup was the impending forced upgrade of the Microsoft Teams Classic client.

Microsoft has done a great job of communicating how they manage the complexities of the upgrade from Teams Classic to Teams 2.1 depending on your org type, licencing structure and policies.

What hasn’t been promoted as much. Is how Teams upgrades will work for environments where Microsoft can’t manage the installation process.

There’s plenty of documentation over on Learn.Microsoft, but unfortunately, not that many IT pros have the time go and actively read it! I still see far too many organizations running their call centres with Teams on VDI configured incorrectly. Mainly because “it works” so they jump to the next fire they need to put out.

This can be quite impactful to your network! I’m currently working on an article where a misconfigured VDI environment crashed a major network making other applications and services go offline, causing a significant impact to the organization.

Why is this a discussion point now?

Well, as part of all the announcements, Microsoft dropped one quite important detail after the March 31st global update to Teams 2.1. Come June 30 Teams 1.x clients will be unable to sign into Teams

No biggie you think. I’ve got 4 months (as of this article) to update my golden image to use the new Teams 2.1 MSIX file…

Wait, MSIX file?

The new Teams client is NOT available as a traditional MSI installer. It’s a Modern Windows App deployed via MSIX, just like many Windows Store Apps. And a quick look at the supported operating systems for MSIX and thus Teams 2.1 on VDI lists Windows Server 2019 and 2022. Not 2016.

Realistically, Mainstream support for Windows Server 2016 ended back in 2022. However, one of the fun things about VDI deployments. They’re usually the last to get updated.. They’re the ones that cause the most pain to users,

What does this mean for me?

If you still using Windows Server 2016, Citrix older than 1912 LTSR CU6? (Oct 2022) or VMWare older than Horizon 8.4? (Sept 2022) YOU NEED TO PLAN YOUR UPGRADE NOW.

Obviously, Microsoft’s answer is to move to Azure Virtual Desktop to have a fully supported environment. But there are still options to move to Windows Server 2019 or 2022.

Having not really worked in the server space myself since 2016 was released, I’m a little rusty on advice here. But I hope this warning helps you discuss the impending change with your VDI team.

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