Microsoft Teams goes freemium with its new offering

Under the hood of Microsoft’s live event feature

Under the hood of Microsoft’s live event feature

The free version also means that Slack has found a role in various non-paying spheres, such as open source development, serving a similar role to the one once served by IRC. Slack has one, and it's an easy way to onboard customers in hopes they'll upgrade later.

Clearly, Microsoft is flexing its infrastructure muscle with this Teams move.

Unlimited chat messages and search.

Microsoft is also integrating its translation technology to improve collaboration between multi-language teams (available now for paid users, later in the year for free ones). There's no 10,000 message limit-even free users can access and search all their chat history-and the data limits are substantially higher, at 10GB plus 2GB per person.

Slack, Microsoft and companies including Alphabet Inc's Google, Cisco Systems Inc, Facebook Inc and Atlassian Corp PLC have launched products in the fast-growing workplace collaboration market. Free Teams supports group voice and video calling, too; Slack's free tier is restricted to 1:1 video calls.

Integrated, real-time content creation with Office Online apps, including built-in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

Unlimited app integrations with 140+ business apps to choose from-including Adobe, Evernote, and Trello. You only get 5 GB of storage, 10 integrations, no guest accounts, and videos are limited to 1-on-1 sessions. Maybe it's time for Slack to take out another newspaper ad. Office 365 will use facial detection to automatically detect when particular people are talking, allowing you to jump straight to their portions of the event.

Closed captions to make the event more accessible to all.

"Teams in Microsoft 365 includes everything in the free version plus additional storage, enterprise security, and compliance, and it can be used for your whole organization, regardless of size", says Ron Markezich, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft. Microsoft has a long way to go to build up the sort of clout Slack has, and it's still missing important features like private channels, but a free tier is a big step in the right direction. The public preview of Live Events will be available to those using the paid version of Microsoft Teams, Yammer and Microsoft Stream over the next month.

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