Microsoft takes on Slack with free version of Teams

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Microsoft is taking the fight to its collaboration competitors like Slack by releasing a free version of Teams to non-Office 365 customers.

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.

Originally, Slack was meant for team members to communicate, but it has expanded to become a more social platform as well.

The free tier offers up to 300 seats and most of the functionality, with a few predictable little nudges toward the paid version - which is fine and dandy - nothing is truly free these days.

Microsoft introduced Teams in late 2016 as an alternative to Slack, the popular team collaboration tool. It supports up to 300 people, and it includes unlimited chat messages and searching; 10GB of file storage for teams, plus 2GB of personal space; audio and video calling for groups of people and the entire team; and unlimited integrations with over 140 apps.

At the next level, the free Microsoft Teams pulls way ahead of Slack with integrated, real-time content creation with Office Online apps, including built-in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote - not the least bit surprising given Office is Microsoft's flagship office software suite. Like the free Slack tier, there are limitations to the free Teams, but Microsoft has picked a very different set of restrictions than Slack's.

The system is created to enable organizations to reach optimum communication and collaboration-from anywhere in the world. Whether you're a freelancer, a small business owner, or part of a team inside a large organization, you can start using Teams today.

We're glad to see that Microsoft hasn't left the team video meetups and integrations with third-party apps behind a paywall. Microsoft's offering additionally boasts guest access. "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 organization, regardless of size", Markezich emphasized.

Microsoft also is announcing officially today that its Microsoft Whiteboard app is now generally available for Windows 10. Now, more than 200,000 businesses across 181 markets use Teams to collaborate and get work done.

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