Competition not only brings the best out of people, it benefits the consumers. For Microsoft and Google, one undeniable fact about competition is that it helps them to be creative and more innovative. Zoom without a doubt is the industry leader when it comes to videoconferencing; and this has of course forced Google Meet and Microsoft Teams to be innovative. In response to Zoom’s recent decision to remove the 40-minitue restriction on meetings during Thanksgiving, Microsoft has added a new 24-hour free video calling option on the web.
You can join calls for free via a web browser even when you do not have a Microsoft Account or the Microsoft Teams app installed. Also, Microsoft Teams will support up to 49 friends or family members in a gallery view through its Together Mode feature.
This is probably the best time to launch this new functionality as it enables families to stay connected virtually as the this year’s Thanksgiving approaches. Unlike Zoom’s offer though, Microsoft’s free video calling could extend beyond Thanksgiving; but for how long is anyone’s guess.
Getting started with Teams’ new web video calling feature is pretty easy. Simply visit Teams’ new web link and sign in with your Microsoft Account. Once you have created a video meeting, you can then share the link with friends and family, and they will be able to join the meeting without a Microsoft Account.
Earlier in November, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Teams now records 115 million daily active users. Though, Microsoft Teams still has a lot of catching up to do with rivals like Zoom and Google Meet, the fact that it is still managing to have such numbers shows how much work the company is putting in to make it competitive. Zoom of course remains the clear leader, but the gap seems to be disappearing with more users warming up to alternative videoconferencing apps.
The figures are counting in the app’s favor, and there is much room for improvement. If the company continues to work hard like it is already doing behind the scene, the only possible outcome is positive news like it is being reported today.
Microsoft announced the expansion of participants who can be visible in a meeting to 49—the exact same number allowed to be visible in Zoom a couple of months ago. Being able to see the faces of people in the same meeting as you is an added advantage, and helps to make conversations smooth and encouraging. For those in classes, this should serve as one of the best pieces of information coming out from Microsoft because it makes learning more convenient and lots of fun.