Free version of Microsoft Teams may be on the way to challenge Slack

As Microsoft continues to push Teams as its answer to Slack in the workplace, it looks like a free version may be on the way. That's according to a report from Petri, which spotted references to "freemium" features within the latest developer preview of Microsoft's communications app.

Currently, Microsoft Teams requires an Office 365 plan to use, but a freemium tier potentially could allow it to be used in a more limited capacity for those without an Office 365 account. The extent of limitations for free users isn't clear, but the lines spotted by Petri make reference to a dialog box users would encounter when free storage is exceeded, prompting for an administrator to upgrade to a paid version. Other limitations could come in the form of smaller team sizes or restrictions on sizes for shared files, but that's just speculation for now.

Allowing companies and organizations to sample a limited version of Teams for free could prove valuable for Microsoft as it competes with Slack for users. Currently, Slack offers a free version with premium upgrades, making it potentially more attractive for organizations which are looking to trial solutions before shelling out any money.

As for when a freemium version of Teams may arrive, that's up in the air. There's no indication of an imminent launch from the spotted references, but Microsoft appears to be at least working on the feature.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • They need to get support for multiple accounts in there yesterday really...
  • We had/have Teams as part of Office 365 on two places I work(ed). We didn't use it not because we have to pay for it as it came as part of the package but because we agreed ananimously that the threaded conversations are unusable. They still refuse to add an option to turn them off.
  • Interesting, I've used both Slack and Teams and I'd say the threaded conversations are the one of the major things that makes me prefer Teams. Starting a conversation with the full text editor and giving it a subject helps people keep conversations on topic and then makes them easier to find later on. It's basically an improved version of Email for me. I found that Slack conversations often became very unfocussed and off topic and makes it hard to find things later on.
  • are unusable...or you don't use/don't know/you get bored to use it? if people instead of reply in thread reply in the chat it's not teams what do you think of thread conversations in slack? that creates a new "channel"...and I mean real thread conversations, not just reply randomly in the channel p.s.
    on the other hand I agree that the reply button took too much space and should be smaller
  • This needs to happen ASAP. My organization is looking into Slack purely because it's free.
  • I like that this is happening but, I get the sense that a free version of Microsoft Teams is the same thing (maybe better) as GroupMe.  I know Teams is geared more for the workplace... there just seems to be a lot of overlap here.  
  • We tried to use it a year ago but it was lacking a lot of things to make it useful. If Planner was a separate application, it may have been easier to start using.
  • we switched to teams few months ago and we love it... yes planner is a separate app (at least now)
  • i have no idea what teams or Slack is, maybe I should have a search, but if I do nto know what it is then I doubt it is something i need.  
  • Yes, I agree, me neither. An article like this needs a sort of 'editors notes' -type section at the end giving us a brief outline of what (in this instance) "teams" is with maybe a couple of helpful links.
  • Still Stack rules!
    None of my mates are using Teams or Trello!