Free communication and collaboration app from Microsoft
Microsoft Teams is a free-of-charge social and communication software developed by the leading multinational technology development company, Microsoft, for desktop and mobile devices. Before, Microsoft offered only business-oriented Teams monthly paid subscriptions. However, in order to compete with various free collaboration services like Slack, they formulated their own version. Microsoft’s own video-conferencing program enables you to easily chat and call with your colleagues. It offers a unified platform wherein workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and other office-related stuff are located. This is meant to be integrated along with the Office 365 service.
The point of Microsoft Teams
Similar to other communication apps, Microsoft Teams allows various groups to join together through a specific link or invitation sent by a team administrator or owner. Thus, you can easily find every member in one channel. The program can be used either for your business or school—Teams allowing school admins and teachers to set up specific teams for classes, professional learning communities, and staff members. Its main features are chat messaging and video calls. The left side-ribbon menu displays Activity, Chat, Teams, Meetings, Files, and your Profile.
Activity displays any notifications from your team or chatrooms. Meanwhile, Chat shows your recent conversations with your contacts or groups and any that are requesting your attention. You can do the usual messaging functions here—such as live chatting, sending emojis, stickers, and GIFs, and attaching images and files. You can do both private messaging with one person or a group chat for collaboration. The Teams section includes all channels related to your organization and can be used to organize different departments and such.
For the calls, you have Voice over IP (VoIP) and video-conferencing, as well as calling telephone numbers. You can choose audio-only and screen-share if you want to demonstrate something. Meetings can be scheduled ahead of time and there’s even a plugin for Outlook for that. The Files tab, on the other hand, lets everyone access and work on files in real-time. Microsoft Teams integrates with apps other than the Office suite so you can take advantage of third-party services and custom apps with this software.
Teams vs. Skype
It is a fact that most of Teams’ features came from Skype for Business, however, these two apps are actually very different—especially in terms of solutions. The design of Skype for Business is grounded to support voice calls and video conferencing even with its robust chat features, as this is still the strongest point of this tool. Meanwhile, Teams actually works more as an all-around collaborative platform that brings together files, chats, calls, and apps in one place.
Overall, it is very evident how more powerful Teams works than Skype for Business. However, Microsoft Teams just doesn’t have the calling capacity that Skype possesses. Thus, Microsoft is positively looking and moving to combine both products to bring more of Skype's functionality into the Teams platform.
As expected from superior companies to adopt various technological innovations, Microsoft Teams is a great alternative to other team communication and collaboration programs. Teams are outstanding from the vigorous capabilities of their chat, call, apps, and file features and performances. If you are still looking for an impeccable collaboration tool or if you aren’t satisfied with the current app you have, you can try and consider downloading this one and experience its potential first-hand.