What is Microsoft Teams? How it works, latest features and top alternatives

Microsoft Teams is a service for teamwork and video conferencing. It allows workers to connect through text messaging, voice calls, or video conferences from anywhere. It is a persistent platform for chat-based collaboration complete with document sharing, online meetings, and many more highly useful business communications features.

The free version of Microsoft Teams offers a nice feature set that will be sufficient for many companies. In comparison, the companies looking for a more comprehensive solution can opt for the paid version.

The Microsoft Teams app combines rich HD video conferencing with extensive text chat facilities. Think of it as a cross between Slack and Zoom, unlike other similar offerings.

The Microsoft Teams app can be downloaded on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. This way, employees can connect from almost any device to their colleagues.

Free or Premium Version?

Microsoft Teams’ free version has all the features employees need to collaborate remotely. Unlimited text chat and search, group video conferences, one-on-one video calls, 2 GB per person (or 10 GB across the entire team) of cloud storage, and free access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote web-based versions.

However, the free version of Microsoft Teams lacks a few important security and administration facilities that most companies are likely to need. These may include enforced multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, and user management.

There are three options available if you are looking to upgrade your subscription to Microsoft Teams. The three options are: Office 365 Business Essentials, Office 365 Business Standard, and 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 meetings with Microsoft Teams. It increases file storage capacity to 1 TB per user and includes the above-mentioned additional security features.

Office 365 Business Standard, meanwhile, costs $12.50 (£9.40 / AU$17.20) per user per month. It includes all the advantages of the cheaper package and desktop versions of the well-known productivity applications of Microsoft (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.). Plus, it also comes with business applications such as Bookings, Invoicing, and MileIQ.

Finally, Office 365 Premium adds improved capabilities for authentication and safety, as well as a broader variety of tools for mobile management. This bundle would cost $20.00 per customer per month to run the company (£15.10 / AU$27.50).

Microsoft Teams download

Simply follow this link to the Microsoft Teams download page to download Microsoft Teams to your laptop or PC.

You can download the Microsoft Teams desktop and smartphone app from here. Or you can type your email address in the appropriate field and Microsoft can directly send you a download link.

You can also link to the right app store on your smartphone for those wanting to download the Microsoft Teams mobile app-be it the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

Alternatives of Microsoft Teams

To help remote employees remain connected, Microsoft Teams provides free and paid plans. Teams who operate outside of the Microsoft 365 platform, however, could be best off with another contact option. Therefore, to find the best Microsoft Teams alternatives, we looked at different team chat and communication platforms that offer identical user-friendly functionality, equivalent per-user costs, and simple video calling.

Slack: (Best Overall) A complete approach to virtual workforce job management.

Zoom: Free tools: Comprehensive capabilities at no expense for up to 100 participants.

Google Meet: For those who use G Suite and Google Workspace, use Google Meet to move from in-document communication to video chat quickly.

Cisco Webex: Accessibility: Offers transcription, captions, and high-quality video features, including whiteboards.

BlueJeans: Features that are of Enterprise-grade, track over 70 efficiency metrics.

Leave a Comment