Microsoft Teams Now Uses up to 50% Less Power During Meetings

Posted on February 10, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Microsoft 365 with 23 Comments

Microsoft’s efforts to make its Microsoft Teams more power efficient have reached an important new milestone. The company claims that it has optimized the Microsoft Teams app on Windows to reduce power consumption by up to 50% during resource-intensive use cases such as Teams calls and meetings.

This journey to make Microsoft Teams on Windows more power efficient started in 2020, right when Microsoft Teams usage literally exploded due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. That’s when it became critically important for Microsoft to provide a consistent Teams meetings and calling experience across all devices.

“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,” explained Microsoft’s Robert Aichner, Principal Group Program Manager at Microsoft’s Intelligent Communication and Conversation Cloud (IC3) group.

The first big milestone in this journey to optimize power consumption in Microsoft Teams was when the app received hardware and video capture optimisation back in October 2020, which reduced CPU load when Teams is using the camera during meetings. Improvements to video rendering last year further reduced power consumption, especially now that the Microsoft Teams can now leverage a device’s GPU to improve performance.

“Looking forward, we’ll continue to work closely with CPU and GPU chipset vendors to ensure the next generation of silicon is further optimized for Teams video conferencing,” Aichner said yesterday. If Microsoft Teams is getting new features at a regular pace, Aichner also emphasized that his team is making sure that new experiences are “optimized for all users, regardless of their network and devices.”

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Comments (23)

23 responses to “Microsoft Teams Now Uses up to 50% Less Power During Meetings”

  1. wiseoldelf

    does that mean less hot air during meetings?

  2. OldITPro2000

    I've noticed this to be slightly better over time, similar to how their chart indicates. It still takes a lot of overhead during meetings though...

    • lvthunder

      Just think about what it's doing though. Encoding video and streaming it while downloading and playing video.

  3. ebraiter

    If I'm not mistaken there was a security update for Teams released this past Tuesday.

    Too bad this or the MS doc doesn't say what version of Teams this applies to.

  4. bluvg

    Goodness, we're still seeing newer i5/16GB computer going to max fan speed on 1:1 video calls with Teams, and not with Zoom. Seems like there's still more software work yet to be done, not only on the silicon side as they suggest. Maybe they should hire some folks from Zoom.

    The screen sharing preview is definitely much, much, much faster than before, though.

    • dftf

      I'd hazard-a-guess Teams may only use the CPU for its video-rendering, not the GPU. And the video-codec they use would make a difference too, as some are more-efficient than others

    • jatinder37

      Good god you want to use zoom for enterprise good luck using zoom for that

      • bluvg

        Even if you're not a Zoom client, your company is still typically a Zoom user and have to support it. Anyway, not sure what the criticism of Zoom is about, very common in enterprise settings.

  5. dftf

    "Microsoft Teams Now Uses up to 50% Less Power During Meetings"

    Probably because many members of staff are now-able to return to work, so my guess would be there are now 50% fewer people on-average in each Teams meeting? ;)

    • lvthunder

      At the company I work for the number of Teams meetings have not gone down by much. First off we grew big enough that everyone doesn't fit in our conference room anymore. Also people like to share the screen instead of printing stuff out so a lot of meetings happen over Teams even if everyone is in the same office.

      • dftf

        Congratulations on the company-growth then... that's certainly not been a widespread thing to occur during the pandemic. Most friends of mine have only seen job-losses during that time.

        Oh, and also great to hear about the reduced print-outs, too. Again, another trend which I'm not aware I've ever seen anywhere I've worked at, well, ever. Printing remains as-popular-as-ever and the dream of a "paperless office" remains just that!

  6. wright_is

    Damn, I thought the new version was 50% better than the previous version, oh well...

    I had a 5 way meeting last week, Core i5 with Intel graphics and 8GB RAM, I had to close all other applications, because it was using all 8GB and the video was stuttering...

    • dftf

      For an app like Teams, I would hazard a guess it likely won't use the GPU to do any of the video-rendering, it's probably 100% CPU-decoded. Assuming you have no-other apps open that would use video, next-time you have a Teams video-conference, open Task Manager and head to the Performance tab and see if your GPU is showing any movement or not

      • dftf

        (Also, assuming it is CPU-decoded only, I wonder if it does so multi-threaded or single-threaded? You'd be surprised how many parts of apps thesedays still only operate on a single-thread, given even on low-end CPUs they are all mostly quad-core minimum as-standard now...)

    • wright_is

      I usually keep it in a small window, taking up a quarter of the screen, it seems to handle that ok (1920x1080 window).

  7. Craig Hinners

    I thought I heard that a major update to Teams that ditched Electron for WebView was imminent. Just wondering why all this effort is going into v1 if v2 is right around the corner.

  8. jchampeau

    “If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be 'meetings.” -Dave Barry

  9. mclark2112

    On battery, I have to Force Quit teams when I'm done using it on my Mac, as it absolutely drains the battery.

  10. robinwilson16

    This is good news as on my Surface Pro 7 of the time, screen sharing made the device barely usable after about 10 minutes and the CPU be throttled to just 0.2GHz.

    I was required to screen share in hour long meetings daily and it was a constant frustration where the device then struggled to just maintain the audio and video feed for others and the Surface device was red hot.

    I'm really happy those days are behind me!