Microsoft Launches Free Version of Teams, Undercuts Slack

Microsoft introduces a free version of Teams, going head-to-head with Slack

The free version of Microsoft Teams is available starting today in 40 different languages in all markets Microsoft offers online services in.

It's now been a little more than a year since Microsoft launched its Slack competitor called Microsoft Teams, which is now set to replace Skype for Business as the main communication hub for Office 365. Microsoft Teams' free version comes with unlimited chat messages and search, unlimited app integrations, 10GB of team storage, 2GB of storage per user, native audio and video calling for 1:1 conversations, groups, and the full team.

Slack has been a popular team collaboration platform for a number of years, but its popularity has slanted toward tech companies and startups. 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. It supports up to 300 users and offers unlimited app integrations and search, features you won't find in the free version of Slack.

Ability to communicate and collaborate with anyone inside or outside your organization, backed by Microsoft's secure, global infrastructure.

The version of Microsoft Teams is rolling out today, and that'll most probably boost its growth.

The free version supports up to 300 users per company and offers numerous same features as the version inside Office 365, such as video and audio calling for one-on-one meetings and bigger events, the ability to search messages and integrations with other Microsoft products as well as more than 140 third-party apps. Granted, there's always the chance Slack could improve its free offering to counter Microsoft, but we've heard of no such plans yet.

By comparison, the free version of Slack is limited to 10 app integrations, 5GB of file storage and doesn't permit guest access.

Earlier, Microsoft had offered the application along with other Office 365 apps such as SharePoint, Yammer and One Drive. Subscribers will also be able to use features like extra storage, scheduling and recording meetings, security compliance, and more.

"Teams in larger organizations should work with IT to use their enterprise-licensed version rather than signing up to the free version or risk creating some administration challenges", Cannell said.

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