At the beginning of 2020, most of the people were unfamiliar with Zoom. Today it is one of the most used apps in the world. Indeed, the pandemic has forced us to replace physical meetings with video conferencing, be it in professional or personal life.
But of course, Zoom isn’t the only video service that has seen significant growth during this pandemic. Microsoft also offers a similar app: Teams. And this week Redmond is announcing a novelty to encourage the use of their solution: a version for the general public.
Microsoft Teams was previously a service for companies. But since last year the Redmond company has been previewing a version for the general public. Essentially, this version is intended for discussions between family members, friends, etc.
And this week Microsoft is announcing the official release of this consumer version by Teams. “As millions of employees around the world know, Microsoft Teams is already a leading solution for communication and collaboration in the workplace. But we spend a lot of our lives collaborating with people outside of work. As we listened to our customers, we learned that families need tools to better connect, plan, coordinate and share online, ”said Liat Ben-Zur, corporate vice president at Microsoft.
While the preview was only available on mobile devices, this stable version can also be used on computers and offers a web version. Obviously, video calling is the main feature of this version of Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Teams wants to be on all fronts
Users can make 24-hour calls for two people. Group calls are limited to 300 participants. Typically, these group calls should not take longer than 60 minutes for Free Tier users. However, during the pandemic, the limit on these group calls is also 24 hours.
In addition to calling, the service also includes some features from the professional version of Microsoft Teams such as: B. “Together mode”, text messages, polls, shared calendars or the ability to assign tasks. And of course, you can invite someone who doesn’t use Teams for a conversation by sending them a link.
For Microsoft, offering this personal version of Teams is also a way for people to separate their personal and professional lives. “Teams make sure that the separation between your work and your personal accounts is maintained. All files, contacts, chats, and other information for each of your accounts are separate. And I can easily switch between the two by clicking on my profile, ”says Liat Ben-Zur.
Additionally, by rolling out this new version of Teams, Microsoft is ensuring that the video conferencing service will compete with Zoom (which many people use in person) and Facebook Rooms (a video conferencing service built into Messenger).
It should also be noted that right now there is no question of replacing Skype with this personal version of Microsoft Teams.