Hello Readers, I hope you’re well.

Welcome to Episode 38 of the UCStatus Podcast. This episode features me (@randychapman) & Shawn Harry (@shawnharry).

This week we take a serious look at the lifespan and lifecycle for Teams devices such as phones and room systems that run the Android operating system. These include Teams desk phones & Teams display, MTR on Android & Teams Panels currently. But this will include new categories I’m sure.

The reason we bring this up is because Microsoft made a change to their device certification page to include the end of support date for every currently certified device, based on the build or version of Android it runs.

If you read the Microsoft Teams Certified Devices page it starts with this

The Microsoft Teams devices Certification Program ensures certified devices meet a high standard, with higher performance targets and quality metrics across the entire Teams experience (audio, video, user interface). Microsoft and OEM partners are actively working together to ensure devices meet all certification requirements, including security, audio and video quality, Teams experience, and accessibility.

Certification programs are designed to ensure all certified devices run an Android version with the required feature set for Teams and Teams admin center. Certification validity is based on the Android OS version running on the device when it enters into the certification program. Our OEM partners are working to extend the lifetime of the certification by upgrading the Android OS version and re-certifying, or by releasing new models that are state-of-the-art. Certification validity dates will be updated regularly based on OEM partner plans to upgrade to a newer Android OS version.

Devices for Teams – Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Docs

At the time of recording this episode these are the OS versions and end of certification and support dates

Android OS VersionCertification end dateEnd of Support
8.1December 5, 2022December 2024
9August 5, 2023August 2025
10September 3, 2024September 2026

As you can see. Certification is based on the Android OS version at the time it was certified. It also says that all partners are working to upgrade that version and recertify.

Room Systems and desk phones have been around for decades. Most businesses expect a good long lifetime on devices. Particularly when the investment and effort to get these devices is considerable. Nobody wants to replace a perfectly good room system after 2 or 4 years right? Based on the dates in the table above, that’s exactly what could happen if none of the vendors upgrade.

Thankfully, Microsoft go on to say that

Beyond the certification period, Microsoft is committed to make efforts to support the most recent version of the Teams client on such devices for two years following the end of the certification period.

Devices for Teams – Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Docs

The version of Android that devices run currently is largely based on when they were launched to market. For instance, newer devices from Logitech and Neat started on Android OS 10 because they were released later.

I reached out to a couple of vendors already and both have said they are working on upgrading the Android version on their devices. One is definitely working on going from 9 to 10. The other is working on going from 8.1, presumably to 10. Hopefully all the vendors are doing the same. And I really hope that all of the vendors have plans to go beyond that.

We think future proofing is absolutely vital for a myriad of reasons. There’s the expense of replacing devices of course. Not just in hardware terms, but in time and effort. And of course there’s the environmental concerns.

Listen below to hear our thoughts.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below.

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