Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Microsoft launches Teams free version to counter Slack

Microsoft launches Teams free version to counter Slack

First of all, Microsoft Teams, the company's collaboration tool created to rival the likes of Slack, is getting a free tier for the first time, having previously been limited to Office 365 users. Teams also allows users to save and search unlimited messages.

It's not secret Slack has dominated workplace communication among tech companies the last few years, but Microsoft began to fight back when it introduced Teams back in 2016. However, the free edition of Microsoft Team can still be used by up to 300 people - the same as the Essentials and Premium versions - which should be enough to cater for most small to medium sized businesses.

Both Slack and Teams limit free users, but as it turns out, Microsoft has managed to gain a competitive advantage over Slack. 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.

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. And of course, it'll tie into all of the Office 365 online apps, like Word, Powerpoint, Excel and OneNote. This free version is pretty great value overall, but Microsoft still hopes to get some users on board with the paid version eventually.

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

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Well before this launch and even before the general availability of the paid version of Microsoft Teams, one analyst predicted in January 2017 that Microsoft Teams would have more users within two years, but until now the biggest hurdle has been price.

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

We're glad to see that Microsoft hasn't left the team video meetups and integrations with third-party apps behind a paywall.

Microsoft Whiteboard is now available on Windows 10, but is also coming soon to iOS, said the release. The starting price for Slack is free.

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