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Slack today announced it’s deploying an under-the-hood upgrade for its desktop app to boost performance for companies and teams using the app for workplace collaboration. The latest version of Slack for desktop and internet browsers is due out in the coming weeks and promises a 33% faster launch time, 10 times faster launch of VoIP calls, and roughly 50% less memory usage.

The news comes a month after Slack became a public company, listed as WORK on the New York Stock Exchange.

Slack product architect and lead of desktop client rewrite Johnny Rodgers said the upgrade takes advantage of changes to Slack’s underlying technology, like modern JavaScript tools and techniques and the React UI framework.

“As people began wanting to sign in to additional workspaces, we were creating additional processes to support those workspaces, which led to the app using more memory and slowing down as people added more,” he said. “With this one, we’re able to sort of take that expectation of people signing into multiple workspaces as the base assumption and architect around that so that this same app can use far less memory, boot faster, and generally give people a lighter, snappier experience.”


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The app rewrite isn’t meant to fuel any particular initiative on the Slack Platform roadmap, Slack product management director Jaime DeLanghe told VentureBeat, but a faster app that requires less memory will be essential for users interested in using apps and bots from Slack’s Platform, or more complex features.

In recent months, Slack has introduced Workflow Builder for making apps without code and Block Kit to make creating apps easier.

“Slack is integrating with more and more applications; individuals are running increasingly complex software on their computer — multiple applications throughout the day to get their job done,” she said. “And we know that Slack needs to work really well alongside all of those things. So by making … the software sort of less of a burden on your machine, and [taking] up less cognitive load as you’re switching around [and] booting up different applications, we’re hoping this will help make people’s lives a bit more pleasant while they’re at work.”

A speedier Slack will also help the app compete with Microsoft’s Teams. Earlier this month, Microsoft said Teams now has 13 million daily active users, outpacing Slack, which passed 10 million daily active users in January.

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