Since its release, Microsoft Teams has received a steady number of feature updates, even surpassing its competitors in some regards. However, when it comes to small businesses, there’s been one major hurdle: it’s not free.

Slack offers its messaging service for nothing, archiving up to 10,000 messages, allowing 10 third-party integrations, and limiting video calls to 1-on-1. Alongside that, the team gets 5 GB of file storage and standard support.

Currently, users of Microsoft Teams must have an Office 365 business premium subscription. That comes in at least $12.50 per users per month, but includes Outlook, Word, Excel, SharePoint, and more.

As a result, it’s only really attractive to those already on the plan, but that may soon change. Petri’s Brad Sams has found some interesting strings in the latest dev version of the app:

freemium_storage_exceeded_dialog_upgrade: "Upgrade",
"_freemium_storage_exceeded_dialog_upgrade.comment": "Admin action to upgrade to paid version",

Attracting Startups

It seems a “freemium” version will have limited storage, but it’s not clear what the other restrictions will be. Microsoft could limit Office integrations, the number of team members, certain admin features, and more.

This should make the app more attractive to startups, who will then be tied into the Office 365 ecosystem as they grow. However, it’s worth noting that Microsoft has not replied to comment on the feature. The references make it likely that it will come soon, but not certain.

Either way, Slack users will be keeping an eye on what Microsoft can offer. It may be late to the game, but it definitely has the resources for a solid free experience.