Microsoft is holding its Inspire conference next week, and today it announced that it's finally releasing the long-rumored free version of its Teams collaboration platform. The free version is available today, worldwide and in 40 languages.
The service supports a group of up to 200 people, and includes the following features:
- Unlimited chat messages and search.
- Built-in audio and video calling for individuals, groups, and full team meetups.
- 10 GB of team file storage plus additional 2 GB per person for personal storage.
- Integrated, real-time content creation with Office Online apps, including built-in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
- Unlimited app integrations with 140+ business apps to choose from—including Adobe, Evernote, and Trello.
- Ability to communicate and collaborate with anyone inside or outside your organization, backed by Microsoft’s secure, global infrastructure.
Microsoft says that this is the most generous free offering on the market. It compared unlimited chat and search to the 'other choice', which offers 10,000 searchable messages in its free plan. Teams offers audio and video calling for groups and huddles, while the unnamed competitor (Slack) is 1:1 only.
The other choice also only offers 5GB of file storage, a limit of 10 app integrations, and it only comes in five languages.
Of course, the idea is for this to be an introductory offering, and Microsoft is hoping that businesses will try the product and then upgrade to Microsoft 365. It's a freemium model.
Microsoft says that Teams is currently being used by over 200,000 businesses in 181 markets, which isn't bad at all for a product that was made generally available about 16 months ago.