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.