Microsoft has released a free version of its productivity and collaboration software, Microsoft Teams. Access was previously limited to Office 365 subscribers.
The productivity and collaboration software market is increasingly competitive at the moment with apps such as Slack, Trello and Asana all competing against each other.
According to Markets and Markets, it is estimated that the enterprise collaboration market will grow to $59.86 billion (£45.6 billion) by 2023.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams, launched last year, is a program that brings chat, meetings, calling, files, and apps all into one shared workspace.
Teams replaced Microsoft Classroom on Office 365 Education, as well as Skype for Business as their primary teamwork software.
Microsoft Teams is currently available in 40 languages for up to 300 people.
Major companies such as McAfee, Build-A-Bear, Rackspace, and publisher Wiley use Microsoft Teams within their businesses.
The free version, however, lacks landline calls and conferencing, two-factor authentication, and user administration tools, as well as scheduled meetings and meeting recording. The free tier is limited to 2 GB of file storage per user.
Free Version Features
The free version does however feature unlimited chat messages and search, with built-in audio and video calling for individuals, groups and full team meetups.
Integrated content creation is also available in Teams in real-time with Office Online apps, and 140+ business apps to pick from that have unlimited app integration.
Team file storage can go up to a maximum 10 gigabytes with an additional two gigabytes of personal storage per person.
Ron Markezich, Corporate Vice President commented: “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 organisation, regardless of size.
“Whether you’re a freelancer, a small business owner, or part of a team inside a large organisation, you can start using Teams today.”
With the productivity and collaboration market being dominated by Slack and Asana, releasing Microsoft Teams could put the Redmond giant right up there with the Silicon Valley companies.