Microsoft Makes Its Slack Competitor, Teams, Available for Free

Doris Richards
July 13, 2018

Starting today, freelancers, SMBs and everyone else can try a free version of Microsoft Teams and collaborate with up to 300 people.

The free version of the product is meant to make it easy for potential customers, typically teams of workers and small businesses, to start using Microsoft's products and become embedded in them.

You'll also get 10GB of team-wide file storage and 2GB of individual storage for each user, along with support for Office Online apps and unlimited third-party app integration.

Microsoft says that more than 200,000 businesses are now using the Teams app in 181 markets and it would soon replace Skype for Business as the chat-based collaboration hub for Office 365. Free users can also take advantage of audio and video calls as well, whether those are calls that only include two people or the entire team.

In a clear attempt to one-up Slack, Microsoft's Teams is actually surprisingly robust. In materials describing the free version of Teams, Microsoft included comparisons with Slack for the number of languages the programs are available in, storage space, message search and more.

Unlimited app integrations with 140+ business apps to choose from-including Adobe, Evernote, and Trello. You only get 5 GB of storage, 10 integrations, no guest accounts, and videos are limited to 1-on-1 sessions.

Microsoft introduced Teams in March past year, making it available as part of Office 365 to new and existing customers, in response to popular collaboration tools from the likes of Slack, Atlassian and Facebook.

Point is, Microsoft's offering looks like something a small business could use for much longer before needing to upgrade to a paid plan.

However he cautioned the free offer could make work for enterprise Microsoft shops unless managed.

The move comes as the software behemoth tries to bolster the appeal of the Teams product, launched in 2016 to directly challenge the rise of Slack, by letting non-Microsoft licensees on board without having to stump-up cash first. Subscribers will also be able to use features like extra storage, scheduling and recording meetings, security compliance, and more.

These new Live event capabilities will be available in preview in the coming weeks and it will hit general availability later this year.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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