Microsoft Teams has been gunning for a slice of Slack’s user base ever since it was first announced, and today, Microsoft is looking to ramp up competition. The company has launched a free version of Microsoft Teams that allows businesses and professionals to use it without an Office 365 account. When it comes to pulling market share away from your competitor, offering your product for free is a good way to do it.
Microsoft is pushing this free version out the door later than it probably should have. Slack has offered a free version since it first arrived on the scene, and looking at Slack’s dominance today, it seems like it was a good move. That free tier helped Slack grow quickly in its first year, which makes you think that Microsoft would have wanted a free version of Teams ready to go at launch, but regardless, it’s here now.
In a post over on the Teams Blog, the company details what comes with the free version of Teams. Users will be able to create servers that hold up to 300 people with unlimited chat messages and search. Free users can also take advantage of audio and video calls as well, whether those are calls that only include two people or the entire team.
You’ll also get 10GB of team-wide file storage and 2GB of individual storage for each user, along with support for Office Online apps and unlimited third-party app integration. If you’ve got a relatively small group of employees, then, it sounds like you’ll be able to get quite a bit done with the free version of Teams – in fact, you may never need to upgrade to the paid version as long as what’s offered for free meets your requirements for a collaboration platform.
Microsoft says that anyone with a corporate or consumer email address can sign up for Teams today, regardless of their Office 365 subscription status. That includes pretty much anyone who uses the internet, so if you’re a Slack user who’s been wondering if the grass is greener on the other side, this is your chance to find out. We’ll see if this helps Microsoft Teams gain some ground against Slack, so stay tuned.