Microsoft counters Slack with a free version of Teams

Enlarge  Microsoft Teams on different

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.

First of all, Microsoft Teams, the company's collaboration tool created to rival the likes of Slack, is getting a free tier for the first time, having previously been limited to Office 365 users.

After its launch past year, Microsoft Teams now functions in more than 200,000 businesses across 181 markets, according to the press release. In comparison, Slack's free version only searches 10,000 of your most recent messages; is limited to one-on-one voice and video calls; connects to only 10 third-party apps; and offers only 5GB of storage for your entire team. Although Slack does offer one-to-one audio calling, it doesn't provide support for group calls and full team meetups.

Looking ahead, Microsoft laid out a few upgrades for Teams that free and paying customers can look forward to.

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Ability to communicate and collaborate with anyone inside or outside your organization, backed by Microsoft's secure, global infrastructure.

A stripped down free version is what got Slack to its market-leading position in the first place and it appears that Microsoft fancies a bit of that action.

10 GB of team file storage plus additional 2 GB per person for personal storage.

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.

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The Red Devils will be busting with confidence having got the scalp of pre tournament favorites Brazil. It is in the knockout rounds that I hit my stride, though, and I hope to continue like this.


The free version will offer access to group messaging and collaboration app without requiring an Office 365 subscription.

Thus far, Microsoft has pushed Teams' extensive integration with the company's other products-Office, Skype, SharePoint-as its major distinguishing feature, but Slack has had one important capability that Teams has lacked.

Microsoft is also promoting some new features for all Teams users, both paid and unpaid.

Microsoft also is announcing officially today that its Microsoft Whiteboard app is now generally available for Windows 10.

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'The goal is to get Teams to be used by as many people as possible, ' said Alan Lepofsky, analyst with Constellation Research.

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