Microsoft appears to be preparing a free version of its Microsoft Teams business messaging service for users who aren't signed up to Office 365.
The app, when it debuted, was presented as an add-on to Office 355 for business and an evolution of Skype for Business. It required users to have a linked business Microsoft Account (MSA) to sign in to the app.
That appears to be changing as Microsoft pivots to adopt the freemium model going forward.
In the latest developer preview of Microsoft Teams, a number of references were spotted alluding to a "freemium" version of the app.
One of the lines included read "Storage exceeded… Admin action to upgrade to paid version”, hinting at storage tiers as one of the limitations of the free model. While there are few other hints present in the preview at this time, it is likely Microsoft might also adopt more of Slack's limitations for free with regards to message searching, group video calls, and third-party app/bot integration.
With the new freemium tier, Microsoft Teams could be more competitive with Slack, which demands no compulsory paid subscription but starts off free with the option of tiered upgrades on a subscription basis.
It is not clear when Microsoft plans to roll out this new pricing scheme, but all the pieces appear to be on the board should the firm choose to move sooner rather than later.