Back in March, Microsoft raised a curtain on its new Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions. As consumer-fronted versions of Microsoft 365, the package had numerous user-oriented tools. For example, consumer features for Microsoft Teams were promised at the launch.
Well, three months later and Microsoft Teams is finally getting those tools… at least in preview. Available worldwide for Android and iOS users. As we noted in April, there is no specific consumer version of Teams.
Instead, Microsoft has simply added special consumer tools behind a consumer account on Teams. For users currently running the existing app, a toggle is available to switch between personal and enterprise accounts.
Perhaps the standout consumer tool in Microsoft Teams is chat, messaging, and video calling. Users can also share documents, lists, and calendars in groups. Of course, Teams is about collaboration, so the consumer side of the app allows users to share Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents from OneDrive.
Other sharing options include for locations and information (passwords and login details). Sensitive information is handled in the Teams Safe, a sandboxed part of the app.
Microsoft has confirmed the consumer tools are available for free. However, Microsoft says some future tools may be locked behind the subscription paywall of Microsoft 365 Personal and Family. It seems the company hopes these new abilities will continue to push Teams' growth.
Teams has been on of the big benefactors from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, Microsoft confirmed the platform's daily active users jumped from around 20 million to over 80 million in two months. However, while the current stay-at-home measures have boosted teams, the service has been growing since launching in 2018.