Microsoft Teams is now available to use for free

Microsoft Teams on iPhone
Microsoft Teams on iPhone (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft Teams today is launching a free tier, with the goal of giving individuals, small businesses, startups a shot at using the communications and collaboration service without having to buy into Office 365 first.

Starting today, Microsoft says, Teams' free version is available around the world in 40 languages. And for the most part, the experience is largely similar to the paid version. Included are unlimited chat and search, audio and video calling, and 10GB of team file storage and 2GB of personal storage per person.

Also built in is real-time content creation with Office Online apps, app integrations, and the ability to invite people from outside of your organization to collaborate on projects.

There are some caveats to keep in mind, however. The free version only supports up to 300 users. Upgrading to the paid version also gives you more storage, enterprise security and compliance, and an unlimited number of users.

The free version of Microsoft Teams is available for anyone to download (opens in new tab) and try starting today.

Live events in Microsoft 365

Alongside the free version of Teams, Microsoft is also launching (opens in new tab) some new intelligence features for Microsoft 365. Perhaps the most interesting addition is the ability to create live and on-demand events in Microsoft 365. For your event broadcasts, you can use webcams, slides, and screen-sharing to put together a fairly robust presentation.

In addition, AI tools have been built into the event tools, including a speaker timeline that uses facial recognition to let you jump to a specific speaker during a recorded event. Automatic speech-to-text transcription, timecoding, transcript search, and closed captions are available as well.

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

  • Without an option to turn off threads I won't use it even if they paid me.
  • threads is the differentiating factor - and one of the best features of teams!
  • Microsoft should've made Windows Phone devices free for the first few years. Lol
  • So it doesn't require any Ofiice 365 or Microsoft 365 subscriptions for any of Teams free users?
  • Free version doesn't yet work in the Microsoft Teams app for Windows but the web app works great.
  • Actually, the desktop version of the Teams App works with a free account, however, the UWP app (listed as the Teams Windows 10 S app) does not work with free accounts. I hope they change that soon.
  • Seriously??! good grief...
  • Something goes wrong creating my account. I am not receiving the confirmation email.
  • ditto. Apparently you have to provide a "Company" name & phone # ??
  • Yes, this is exactly the reason why I stopped. It still seems focused on business and not just a group of people who want to collaborate. Hopefully this will change soon. Unless then...
  • Yay!
  • Finally...bye bye slack
  • It's not free for everyone, there are caveats Also they need to make the sign up more accessible to non profits and charities.
  • That is good news, the first part is anyway. But yes it should be more accessible to non-profits and charities., But could they not use slack?
  • Teams are easier to pitch and has ecosystem of services behind it. Slack is a viable option for those who don't have communications platform yet. Yes, they can migrate to Slack however what happens next?
    How do they integrate xyz with Slack. That's why Teams is compelling, it's a bridge into office 365 and Azure services. Thus ability to grow and move forward.
  • I was excited to see the announcement, but that just burst my bubble. I've been using Teams in my department and really wanted to start rolling out to other areas, but since we use O365, we can't use free? Google did the same stuff with Google Apps accounts, rolled out new features to general users first and GApps accounts way latter. Is that the way MS is going to start doing things? I would think that Orgs who already have O365 would be more likely to use Teams and then upgrade. Oh well. One can dream.
  • You maybe able to get a trial, best contact Microsoft.
  • They already have a MS365 sku for non profits
  • @12Danny123 yes, however the sign up pages requires financial knowledge of the non profit or charity. You need to the annual operating budget before you can sign up.
  • This is awesome! I'm switching my team to this tomorrow.
  • I'm sorry for being so rude but looking at your comment, I'm thinking "is this one of those 80's adverts" lol.. , I just couldn't help myself. :) p.s I'm a weak link of the Microsoft fan base cause I joke too much.
  • Planner would be an awesome tool to have a free version of too. It would be so nice if they sold in packages or you picked and chose what tools you such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, Planner. Or if you just needed Word, Teams, and Planner. Something like like that would be sweet so you could choose how you bundled your Office/MS products v. buying pre-configured product bundles.
  • Yes, Planner too would be nice. Then we need a real ticketing system that's in the MS ecosystem like JIRA (beyond just for .NET developers).
  • If I could do multiple sites without signing out like Slack this would be my go to...
  • There is too much service fragmentation in Microsoft's ecosystem. They need to start dropping the dead weight and moving on with a more cohesive vision. Ditch Skype, GroupMe, Wunderlist. Integrate this everywhere. already has Tasks/Reminders and Notes (Exchange Back-End). Tie Cortana and everything into those. Integrate it throughout the other services, and into Windows. Use the money you save from laying off the employees to fund the development further, and hire a QA team. Windows Live used to have Groups. This can replace them.