References to Microsoft Teams free tier appear in documentation

Microosft Teams iOS and Surface
Microosft Teams iOS and Surface (Image credit: Windows Central)

It appears Microsoft may be a little closer to launching a free version of Microsoft Teams as it seeks to challenge Slack in the workplace. References to a free tier first popped up in February within a developer preview of the communications app. Now, the free tier looks to be coming more into focus thanks to Microsoft's own documentation.

The references come by way an official end user notice (opens in new tab) and a subscription agreement (opens in new tab) spotted by Twitter user WalkingCat, who is known for digging up in-development projects from Microsoft. In both, Microsoft Teams (free) is mentioned, along with some details of what to expect.

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From the end user notice:

Microsoft Teams (free) is intended for use by organizations, such as small businesses or groups of coworkers. If you were invited to join a group in Microsoft Teams (free), the group you are joining in the Microsoft Teams (free) instance will be considered your organization for the purposes of this notice, and the person administering the group will be considered the administrator of your account in Microsoft Teams (free).

Information in the developer preview found in February indicated that the free version would have some limitations compared to its paid counterpart. At the time, that included a dialog box that would prompt users to upgrade when they exceed a free storage limit. However, it's not hard to imagine we could also see restrictions on team sizes or sizes of shared files.

Currently, Microsoft Teams requires an Office 365 plan to use. But giving users a way to sample Teams with a free version could have the effect of helping to boost Microsoft's base of paid users by converting those who may not have been ready to jump right in.

There's no way of telling when Microsoft plans to unveil a potential free tier for Teams, but the official references indicate it could be close at hand.

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

  • Sounds great. Waiting to hear when they improve the sluggish app performance.
  • if teams performance are sluggish, did you ever use slack?
  • Well both use electron which is the likely cause. So hoping the PWA is an improvement. Teams can regularly become unusable for the simplest of things and a total memory hog.
  • Haha haha hahah
  • "If Teams' performance is sluggish, have you ever used Slack?" - "Teams" is singular, so the verb "be" must agree.
    - Missing possessive on Teams.
    - Bad verb tense (modal, nuance) in second part of sentence.
    - Missing capitalization on proper nouns. Did any of you people get past the third grade? Same amount of words, so "efficiency" can't be the excuse for this illiteracy. You can't even get a B1 certificate speaking this way. I sincerely hope you aren't Anglophone. That would be tragic.
  • We currently use Slack. I haven't had any problems with the Store version, which I much prefer to the Desktop install, for the auto-updating. I'd love to give Teams a try company-wide. Because we have people who work from home and we don't get each of them an Office 365 account, it hasn't been an option for us, though I've used it internally for some small test projects. A free version would presumably also allow us to use it with external users, which would be the key for us. I'd also like a Store version of Teams. Currently, it's only available through the Office 365 site, which means it doesn't get the benefit of Store auto-updates.
  • I am not sure what kind of agreement you have with MS, but if they are employees and you provide hardware MS expects that you license them properly. Treating them as external is a grey area that could come back to bite you.
  • The thing unneeded about store now that it doesn't require tasks and services to update. Office was an offendrr, with that. However, you run into problems when external applications need to call the store app directly (not using a protocol, or "launching" an associated file type). I've run into so many of these issues that I've literally stopped using the Store on my main PC. I only use it on my older laptop for convenience, and because I don't care and don't run media creation/Editing apps affected by this on that machine. I don't see a point in using Teams unless you're knee deep in Microsoft solutions. Most readers on a site like this won't use it they will just cheerleading more "free" things.
  • A free version of planner would be a welcome addition too. Or better yet why not it make these type programs additional purchases to the consumer versions of Office365 subscribers. To me it would make sense to sell each program as its own with varying prices of each program possibly but you could create your own bundle. If you're someone who wants, outlook, teams, planner, and word you bundle those and check out. Or whatever combination of programs that suits your needs you package and subscribe to.
  • No installed apps on my zte phone.cant's download any games can't update or nothing can you please help me out. thank you.