It seems like not a day goes by when some event doesn't get canceled due to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, with Google's I/O and Microsoft's Build being the latest ones to get impacted. But both of those companies are also engaging in more positive responses to the outbreak by making it easier (and cheaper) to work remotely.
Google announced that it will be giving away free access to advanced Hangouts Meet features for G Suite and G Suite for Education customers. Hangouts Meet is the company's videoconferencing tool, one the services spun off from the Hangouts app, and these advanced features support for up to 250 participants in a call, live streams with up to 100,000 viewers, and the ability to record calls and save them on Google Drive. Usually, these features are exclusive to G Suite Enterprise plans, which cost $25 per month/user, any G Suite customer will be able to use them until July 1.
Microsoft has also started giving away a free six-month trial of the premium tier of Microsoft Teams, according to Business Insider. The premium tier lets users record meetings and includes up to 1TB of storage, instead of just 2GB in the free tier. Additionally, the report says it will update the free version of the app to remove some of the restrictions on user limits and add the ability to schedule recordings. Both the free trial is rolling out now and the update should be available by March 10.
With companies asking employees to stop traveling internationally for work and schools shutting down in parts of the world, this should make it easier for people to stay as active as possible.