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Microsoft ends another failed experiment with a built-in messenger for Windows

A Windows 11 logo with a sinking ship on the background

In 2021, Microsoft unveiled the Chat app for its new operating system. The goal was to provide Windows 11 customers with an iMessage-like experience and an easy way to make voice and video calls from PCs powered by Microsoft Teams. However, the idea failed to gain traction, and the only thing users wanted to do with the Chat app was to remove it.

Almost two years after the initial Windows 11 release, Microsoft is raising a white flag and removing the Chat app from the operating system.

Starting with Windows 11 build 23481 (currently available in the Dev Channel), Microsoft no longer bundles the Chat app with its operating system. Instead, Windows 11 now comes with Microsoft Teams Free pinned to the taskbar by default. Unlike the original Chat app, it is a regular shortcut you can remove with a right-click.

Starting with his build, Chat is now Microsoft Teams – Free. Microsoft Teams – Free is pinned by default to the taskbar and can be unpinned like other apps on the taskbar. Stay tuned for more enhancements as we continue to enhance Microsoft Teams – Free with more features and improvements.

Build 23481 screenshots

The end of the Chat app in Windows 11 is just another chapter of Microsoft's ever-going messaging apps for Windows saga.

It started with Windows Messenger on Windows XP then MSN Messenger/Windows Live Messenger, and Skype, then the failed Skype-powered Messages app for Windows 10/Windows 10 Mobile, and now Chat and Microsoft Teams Free. And do not forget that Skype still exists and regularly gets new features and improvements.

The latest preview update introduced integration with Microsoft Weather, better calling tabs, improved Bing Chat support, and many more.

Microsoft's messaging apps and services may still look confusing, but at least Windows 11 will soon be free of the app most users consider absolutely useless.

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