Microsoft has launched a free version of Teams, the company's collaborative chat tool.
By comparison, the free version of Slack only offers search for the last 10,000 messages and 5 GB of file storage with no per-person allowance. If you've got a relatively small group of employees, then, it sounds like you'll be able to get quite a bit done with the free version of Teams - in fact, you may never need to upgrade to the paid version as long as what's offered for free meets your requirements for a collaboration platform.
Microsoft says that more than 200,000 businesses are now using the Teams app in 181 markets and it would soon replace Skype for Business as the chat-based collaboration hub for Office 365. Free Teams supports group voice and video calling, too; Slack's free tier is restricted to 1:1 video calls. And of course, it'll tie into all of the Office 365 online apps, like Word, Powerpoint, Excel and OneNote.
Ahead of the Teams announcement, Slack on Tuesday announced improvements to its own chat app's search features that the startup said will make it easier for users to find messages.
Ability to communicate and collaborate with anyone inside or outside your organization, backed by Microsoft's secure, global infrastructure. Microsoft's offering additionally boasts guest access.
Here are the four new features for the Teams app and Microsoft 365, and what you can expect from thee updates, according to a Thursday news briefing. Upgrading to the paid version also gives you more storage, enterprise security and compliance, and an unlimited number of users.
The move comes as the software behemoth tries to bolster the appeal of the Teams product, launched in 2016 to directly challenge the rise of Slack, by letting non-Microsoft licensees on board without having to stump-up cash first.
Microsoft also is announcing officially today that its Microsoft Whiteboard app is now generally available for Windows 10.
In other Microsoft collaboration news, the company also is adding to Microsoft 365/Office 365 a new way to create live and on-demand events using Microsoft Stream, its business video service, plus information provided by the Microsoft Graph API.