Microsoft said Monday it is starting to roll out a faster new version of its Teams communication app for Windows to commercial clients enrolled in a preview program. The software will become available to all customers later this year, and Microsoft also promises new versions of Teams for Mac and the web.

Since its 2017 debut, Teams has become the jewel of Microsoft 365, the subscription-based productivity software bundle formerly known as Office 365. Companies rushed to adopt Teams to keep workers connected through video calls and text chats during the Covid pandemic. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in January that more than 280 million people use Teams every month, even though many workers are again commuting to offices.

Microsoft Teams had some performance issues in 2020, which the company resolved. In 2021, with Teams usage still rising, Microsoft began building a second generation of the software with an eye toward improving performance, Jeff Teper, president of collaborative apps and platforms at Microsoft, said in an interview with CNBC.

Reports of a new version of Teams circulated earlier this year. Teper said this prompted “a lot of agitation” but that he did not want Microsoft to announce the update until the program had achieved an internal goal of being twice as fast as before while using half the memory as before.

The new version also includes enhancements meant to simplify Teams, building on the more than 400 feature updates Microsoft delivered last year, some of them meant to help Microsoft catch up with rivals, Teper said.