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 and try starting today.
Live events in Microsoft 365
Alongside the free version of Teams, Microsoft is also launching 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.