Since launching fully around the world last March, Microsoft Teams has enjoyed rapid expansion. Alongside increasing adoption, Microsoft sent out major features to Teams throughout the year. The company also announced Skype for Business will also be integrated into Microsoft Teams in stages. Another major step is being taken this year, Teams for free.
We reported back in February that Microsoft is working on a free version of its work-based collaboration tool. Today, WalkingCat has uncovered support documents to all but confirm Microsoft Teams will indeed be available for free.
This move puts Microsoft Teams closer to Slack in terms of usability. Slack is free but allows users to unlock pro-level features by upgrading to premium. It seems Microsoft will pursue a similar paywall tactic with a free version of Teams and the full version through Office 365 subscription.
When Teams was announced in November 2016, Slack took out a full-page ad in the New York Times, highlighting how concerned it was with Microsoft's product. Slack has thrived in recent years, but Microsoft still dominates the workplace chat space with Skype for Business.
Of course, Slack and indeed Teams are more collaborative tools. However, with Skype for Business folding into Teams, Microsoft is building a fantastic workplace communication network. With Facebook and (Facebook owned) WhatsApp also increasing their own interest in enterprise, the market is getting busy.
Under its free version, Slack allows 10,000 messages, allowing 10 third-party integrations, and limits video calls to 1-on-1. Alongside that, teams get 5 GB of file storage and standard support. It is unclear what package Microsoft will offer in its free version of Teams.
Microsoft Teams Expansion
Last month, Microsoft brought Teams to the Microsoft Store. Microsoft was also busy in terms of Teams at Build 2018 in May, announcing some important developer-oriented abilities:
- “Apps in Chat—coming soon to developer Preview, you can now update your app so that it can be used in private 1:1 and group chats. Your users can add a tab or chat with a bot in their private chats to light up new collaboration and sharing scenarios.
- SharePoint pages in Teams—SharePoint is now even more deeply integrated into Teams—with the latest integration you can pin a SharePoint page in your channels to enable deeper collaboration around sites and other SharePoint content, and get the full power of the SharePoint app platform within Teams.
- Adaptive card support—coming soon to developer Preview, you can now send rich Adaptive cards from your bot, connector, or messaging extension. Adaptive cards allow you to send more flexible content in conversations and are supported on other Microsoft platforms such as Outlook, Windows, and Cortana.