Microsoft Teams goes freemium with its new offering

Under the hood of Microsoft’s live event feature

Under the hood of Microsoft’s live event feature

What's not included in the free version of Microsoft Teams, but is part of the paid version?

The free version of the product is meant to make it easy for potential customers, typically teams of workers and small businesses, to start using Microsoft's products and become embedded in them.

The freemium model now on offer goes some way to addressing that disconnect because corporate Microsoft users will now be able to push people onto teams without the pertinent question of who pays for a license bogging down adoption.

Slack has been a popular team collaboration platform for a number of years, but its popularity has slanted toward tech companies and startups.

We have been reporting about Microsoft planning a free version of Teams for a while. Although Slack does offer one-to-one audio calling, it doesn't provide support for group calls and full team meetups. Application integrations are unrestricted, and Microsoft is of course continuing to promote the tie-ins with the online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

Ability to communicate and collaborate with anyone inside or outside your organization, backed by Microsoft's secure, global infrastructure.

10 GB of team file storage plus additional 2 GB per person for personal storage. You only get 5 GB of storage, 10 integrations, no guest accounts, and videos are limited to 1-on-1 sessions.

Earlier, Microsoft had offered the application along with other Office 365 apps such as SharePoint, Yammer and One Drive.

Well before this launch and even before the general availability of the paid version of Microsoft Teams, one analyst predicted in January 2017 that Microsoft Teams would have more users within two years, but until now the biggest hurdle has been price.

"What we've learnt from Teams in the first 16 months is that, firstly, it's fantastic in terms of a straight off-the-bat free service or additional value inside Office 365", Heard said.

Microsoft also is announcing officially today that its Microsoft Whiteboard app is now generally available for Windows 10.

"Teams in larger organizations should work with IT to use their enterprise-licensed version rather than signing up to the free version or risk creating some administration challenges", Cannell said.

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