Microsoft has launched a free version of its business messaging service Microsoft Teams.
The application has been around since 2016 and was a “competitor” to another messaging app for business users, Slack. We use the word competitor loosely as Teams never offered a free tier while Slack did meaning those that didn’t want to pay for an Office 365 subscription (which includes Microsoft Teams) went with the free option.
That changes now that Teams is available for free and the offering is rather tempting.
The free version of Microsoft Teams cuts out some features such as scheduled meetings, integration with some Office 365 services (not Word, Excel, PowerPoint or OneNote) and lowers the amount of storage per user.
Where Office365 subscribers get 1TB of storage per user, the free tier of Teams only offers 2GB of storage per user and 10GB of shared storage.
Aside from those limitations however Teams looks rather functional on paper. There is no limit to the amount of messages you can send and search through (Slack limits this to your last 10 000 messages), you can have up to 300 users and Team integrates with more than 140 other services such as Trello.
Microsoft Teams also allows for 1:1 and group voice and video calls, Slack meanwhile only allows for 1:1 voice and video calls.
Microsoft Teams is available now in 150 countries including South Africa and while there are limitations to the service if they prove too restrictive you can pay to unlock extra services at a rate of R65 per user per month.