Microsoft Teams is now available to use for free

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

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

Teams has pitted itself against the likes of Slack since it first appeared, but the arrival of a free edition makes it a viable alternative. The free version also means that Slack has found a role in various non-paying spheres, such as open source development, serving a similar role to the one once served by IRC. In a clear attempt to one-up Slack, Microsoft's Teams is actually surprisingly robust.

Built-in audio and video calling for individuals, groups, and full team meetups. And of course, it'll tie into all of the Office 365 online apps, like Word, Powerpoint, Excel and OneNote.

Unlimited app integrations with 140+ business apps to choose from-including Adobe, Evernote, and Trello.

The system is created to enable organizations to reach optimum communication and collaboration-from anywhere in the world.

By comparison, Slack's free plan looks rather paltry. It's nowhere close to Teams' unlimited searchable messages. You only get 5 GB of storage, 10 integrations, no guest accounts, and videos are limited to 1-on-1 sessions.

Similarly, the free version of Teams limits the storage space but is more generous than Slack at 10 GB, plus 2 GB of personal storage for each member.

"What we've learnt from Teams in the first 16 months is that, firstly, it's fantastic in terms of a straight off-the-bat free service or additional value inside Office 365", Heard said. Maybe it's time for Slack to take out another newspaper ad.

We have been reporting about Microsoft planning a free version of Teams for a while.

Phone calls, recording meetings, increased security and other features are added if businesses decide to upgrade to a paid version that requires a subscription to Office 365.

Also new is Whiteboard, Microsoft's digital app that replicates a... well... whiteboard. Artificial intelligence (AI) improves the on-demand feature with a speaker timeline, using facial detection to determine who is talking, transcription and transcript search, and closed captioning, said the release.

Microsoft has introduced a free tier of its workplace collaboration software Teams to better compete against rival Slack Technologies in a market analysts view as a main battleground in the world of enterprise software. The starting price for Slack is free.

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