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Microsoft launches free Teams version, available worldwide in 40 languages

13 July 2018

There was just one problem: Teams didn't have a free option. In a clear attempt to one-up Slack, Microsoft's Teams is actually surprisingly robust.

Ahead of the Teams announcement, Slack on Tuesday announced improvements to its own chat app's search features that the startup said will make it easier for users to find messages.

The free version supports up to 300 users per company and offers numerous same features as the version inside Office 365, such as video and audio calling for one-on-one meetings and bigger events, the ability to search messages and integrations with other Microsoft products as well as more than 140 third-party apps. Included are unlimited chat and search, audio and video calling, and 10GB of team file storage and 2GB of personal storage per person.

Unlimited app integrations with 140+ business apps to choose from-including Adobe, Evernote, and Trello.

Slack, Microsoft and companies including Alphabet Inc's Google, Cisco Systems Inc, Facebook Inc and Atlassian Corp PLC have launched products in the fast-growing workplace collaboration market. Maybe it's time for Slack to take out another newspaper ad. Starting today, freelancers, SMBs and everyone else can try a free version of Microsoft Teams and collaborate with up to 300 people. "Teams in Microsoft 365 includes everything in the free version plus additional storage, enterprise security, and compliance, and it can be used for your whole organization, regardless of size", Markezich emphasized. I think it's fair to say the free version is definitely meant to work like a freemium service and entice users to upgrade to the paid version of Teams. Using the magic of AI, you'll be able to relive video meetings with a speaker timeline that uses facial detection to detect who is talking when, as well as audio transcription mapped to each voice. Microsoft also showed off new live event capabilities for Office among other productivity features and new offerings for Azure and Power BI. Microsoft has a long way to go to build up the sort of clout Slack has, and it's still missing important features like private channels, but a free tier is a big step in the right direction. Like the free Slack tier, there are limitations to the free Teams, but Microsoft has picked a very different set of restrictions than Slack's.

Microsoft launches free Teams version, available worldwide in 40 languages