Microsoft has launched a free version of its Teams app. Just to refresh our memory, Teams was launched as a replacement for Skype for Business almost two years ago. The plan is to give Slack a run for the money, and the game may just have changed with a free version which is hitting the market from today.
A lack of a free version of an app that is available for 200,000 businesses does not give it any edge over its main competitor—Slack. When Teams was launched, the app was limited to those with Office 360 subscription, which of course, will now become a thing of the past from today.
As expected, the free plan does not come with as much features and benefits as the premium, which is quite understandable. At least it is quite refreshing to know that users have options when it comes to using the app.
Benefits and features of the free version of the app include the following:
- Unlimited messages and search
- Guest access
- Limited number of users—300 maximum
- Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote apps in Teams
- 140+ integrated apps and services
- Limited file storage—2 GB/user and 10 GB of shared storage
- 1:1 and group online audio and video calls
- Screen sharing
- Channel meetings
- Meeting recording— available with Microsoft Stream
- Availability in more than 150 markets and 35 languages
The app was first announced back in November 2016, with only a handful of users able to access it at the time. It was and still is the biggest threat to Slack despite being less than two years in existence.
Teams has the advantage in terms of its deep integration into Office 365 apps, and has succeeded in winning the hearts of over 125,000 organizations. That perhaps, explains the reason why Microsoft is providing the app with all the backing it needs to replace Skye for Business.
Teams enables users to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, Power BI and Delve into Microsoft Teams. Built on Office 365 Groups, the app is a cross-application membership service that allows users to move from one collaboration tool to another.
Prior to the announcement replacing Skype for Business with Teams, the former was the app known for collaborating. As a matter of fact, Microsoft has over the last couple of years improved and added some new features to Skype to allow for faster text chats, video conferences and calls among users.
Microsoft had used the occasion of the announcement promised its users that anyone that makes the switch to Teams will enjoy loads of new calling features and meeting enhancements with both outgoing and incoming calls to and from regular phones. It is also promising every user that transits from Skype for Business support for voicemail when making and receiving calls, call holding, call transfers and other telephony features.
Teams’ integration with third-party companies makes it unique and different from its competitors in the market. The integration provides information about the collaboration through the Microsoft Teams Developer Preview program, allowing developers to extend Microsoft Teams.