Microsoft launches free Teams version, available worldwide in 40 languages

Microsoft launches free Teams version, available worldwide in 40 languages

Microsoft's comparison table deliberately doubles down of features like the number of searchable messages that it says will be unlimited, availability for 40 languages, unlimited app integrations and 10GB of storage and native audio and video.

Microsoft Teams today is launching a free tier, with the goal of giving individuals, small businesses, startups a shot at using the communications and collaboration service without having to buy into Office 365 first.

Unlimited chat messages and search.

The freemium model now on offer goes some way to addressing that disconnect because corporate Microsoft users will now be able to push people onto teams without the pertinent question of who pays for a license bogging down adoption.

Teams - essentially Microsoft's Slack competitor - previously required a monthly subscription to use the platform.

It also provides access and integrations with the online version of Office 365 applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, along with more than 140 third-party application integration with the likes of Adobe, Evernote, Github and Trello.

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

Of course, Microsoft is leaving some of the goodies for people who subscribe to Microsoft 365, beyond just going over 300 team members. Granted, there's always the chance Slack could improve its free offering to counter Microsoft, but we've heard of no such plans yet.

A stripped down free version is what got Slack to its market-leading position in the first place and it appears that Microsoft fancies a bit of that action. You only get 5 GB of storage, 10 integrations, no guest accounts, and videos are limited to 1-on-1 sessions.

To address the growing collaboration needs of our customers, previous year we introduced Microsoft Teams, a powerful hub for teamwork that brings together chat, meetings, calling, files, and apps into a shared workspace in Microsoft 365.

"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.

Also new is Whiteboard, Microsoft's digital app that replicates a... well... whiteboard.