Microsoft Teams is a collaboration offering from Microsoft that enables staff to communicate effectively from any location - via text chat, voice call or video conference.
The free version of Microsoft Teams offers a handsome feature set that will be sufficient for many businesses, while a paid version is available for firms after a more comprehensive solution.
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The Microsoft Teams app is available on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS - and a Linux version was also announced last year - so employees can connect to their colleagues from almost any device.
Free version or paid?
The free version of Microsoft Teams boasts all the features employees will need to collaborate remotely.
Unlimited text chat and search, group video conferences, one-on-one video calls, 2GB of cloud storage per person (or 10GB across the entire team) and access to web-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote all come free of charge.
However, the free version of Microsoft Teams lacks a few important security and administration facilities - such as enforced multi-factor authentication, single sign-on and user management - that most businesses are likely to need.
If you’re looking to upgrade your Microsoft Teams subscription, there are two options available: Office 365 Business Essentials or Office 365 Business Premium.
Office 365 Business Essentials is available for $5.00 per user per month (£3.80/AU$6.90), and includes the ability to schedule and record Microsoft Teams meetings, boosts the file storage capacity to 1TB per user and includes the additional security features mentioned above.
Office 365 Business Premium, meanwhile, costs $12.50 per user per month (£9.40/AU$17.20). It features all the benefits of the cheaper package, but also includes desktop versions of Microsoft’s famous productivity applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.) and business apps such as Bookings, Invoicing and MileIQ.
Note: In a bid to help businesses support newly remote employees working under quarantine restrictions, Microsoft is currently offering a six-month free trial of the paid version of Microsoft Teams - so you can try before you buy.
Download Microsoft Teams
To download Microsoft Teams to your laptop or PC, simply follow this link to the Microsoft Teams download page.
From here, you can download the Microsoft Teams app for desktop and mobile, or you can enter your email address in the relevant field and Microsoft will deliver a download link directly.
Those looking to download Microsoft Teams mobile app can also navigate to the relevant app store on their device - be that Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
Microsoft Teams alternatives
Although Microsoft Teams will likely provide for most business’ every need, there are plenty of excellent Microsoft Teams alternatives on the market.
Here are a few alternatives to Microsoft Teams that make an equally good choice for businesses looking for the best video conferencing and collaboration solutions around:
Microsoft Teams - latest news
21/05/2020 - 20 best Zoom and Teams background resources
04/05/2020 - That Microsoft Teams alert might be a phishing scam
01/05/2020 - Microsoft Teams passes major milestone
07/04/2020 - Microsoft Teams doubles down on security advice
02/04/2020 - You can now join Microsoft Teams calls from Slack
19/03/2020 - NHS staff get free Microsoft Teams access
11/12/2019 - Microsoft Teams is now available for Linux
19/11/2019 - Microsoft Teams hits 20 million daily active users
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If you’re after a new webcam for Microsoft Teams video conferencing - or indeed any other kind of video conferencing - these are our top recommendations right now.
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