Microsoft Teams is #1 in Top 10 Group Chat software
Microsoft Teams is the chat-based workspace in Office 365 that integrates all the people, content, and tools your team needs to be more engaged and effective.
Microsoft Teams video
Positions in ratings
#1 in Top 10 Group Chat software
#1 in Top 10 Unified Communications software
#1 in Top 18 Videoconferencing software
The best alternatives to Microsoft Teams are: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Workspace, Skype, WebEx, SharePoint, Discord
Latest news about Microsoft Teams
2022. Microsoft Teams targets Facebook Groups with new Communities feature
Microsoft Teams launched a new “Communities” feature on Android and iOS device. Users can now create and organize groups with their sports club, event planning committee, parent-teacher association or any other group in their community. The feature gives users access to group calendars, event scheduling, meetings, document/photo sharing, video calls and chat. The Communities feature in Teams includes a “new events experience” that allows users to add events to their community calendar, as well as invite guests, track attendance and chat with attendees through direct private messenger. Communities is now rolling out in the free version of Microsoft Teams. At launch, it’s available on mobile only; however, the company noted it would arrive on desktop soon.
2022. Meta partners with Microsoft to bring VR to Teams
Meta has announced a partnership with Microsoft to bring Windows apps and Teams tie-ins, to Meta’s metaverse hardware efforts. This means that Microsoft Teams will integrate with Quest devices and that Microsoft will provide a way to stream Windows apps to Meta’s headsets. Custom 3D avatars will eventually come to the experience. Horizon Workrooms, Meta’s VR space for collaboration, will connect with Teams, allowing people to join a Teams meeting directly from Workrooms. Microsoft 365 will come to Quest in a way that lets users interact with content from productivity apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. These aren’t full-blown versions of apps designed for VR, importantly; They’re Progressive Web Apps, rather.
2021. Microsoft Teams gets 3D animated avatars
Microsoft announced 3D avatars for those Teams meetings where you don’t want to be on camera. Those animated personalized avatars are part of what Microsoft calls “Mesh for Teams,” which combines the company’s Mesh platform for powering shared experiences in virtual reality, augmented reality and elsewhere, with Teams and its built-in productivity tools. It’s still the same meetings that should’ve been an email, but different. To access Mesh for Teams, you will be able use anything from a smartphone to a VR headset or a HoloLens. Microsoft says businesses can also create their own spaces — or metaverses, because that’s the term we use now — within Teams, where people can virtually mingle and collaborate.
2021. Microsoft updates Teams with new presentation features
Microsoft Teams will get a new PowerPoint Live feature that will allow presenters to present as usual — but with the added benefit of seeing all their notes, slides and meeting chats in a single view. And for those suffering through yet another PowerPoint presentation while trying to look engaged, PowerPoint Live lets them scroll through the presentation at will — or use a screen reader to make the content more accessible. This new feature is now available in Teams.
2020. Microsoft launches Dataflex, a relational database for building low-code business Teams apps
Microsoft today launched Dataflex, a relational database that lets business developers create, deploy, and manage Power Platform apps and chatbots without leaving Microsoft Teams. The built-in low code data platform provides relational data storage, rich data types, enterprise grade governance, and one-click deployment. Dataflex is supposed to surface key business data for building low-code apps that address business problems. The relational database also brings AI, performance, and security benefits out-of-the-box. Dataflex in Teams means business users can store and manage business data with the Power Platform. In the past, there wasn’t any supported place to put the data.
2020. Microsoft updates Teams with new automation and scheduling tools
Microsoft has unveiled a slew of updates for its Teams collaboration and communications platform. For users, most of the important updates are around meetings in teams, where you’ll soon be able to schedule, manage and conduct virtual appointments through the Bookings app, for example. On the scheduling side, Teams is also getting new capabilities in the Shifts app, including new triggers and templates to enable auto-approvals for shift requests, for example, when a manager’s approval isn’t needed. Microsoft will also soon enable a new feature that makes it easier to integrate Power Apps and Power Automate business process templates into Teams, and Power BI users will soon be able to quickly share reports to Teams with the click of a single button.
2020. Microsoft updates Teams communications platform with targeted messaging
Microsoft announced a handful of new capabilities coming to its Microsoft 365 platform that are designed to improve communications among care teams and facilitate low-friction telehealth visits with patients. Chief among the new tools already rolled out to providers is targeted communication within both the mobile and desktop versions of Microsoft Teams. Individual staff members can be assigned different tags based on their roles, departments or whatever other groupings might apply. With these, groups of employees can received targeted messages within the chat platform.
2020. Microsoft Teams is getting push-to-talk feature
Microsoft is adding a new Walkie Talkie feature to its Slack competitor, Microsoft Teams. Available in preview in the coming months, the feature will turn smartphones or tablets into a walkie-talkie that will work over Wi-Fi or cellular data. It’s primarily designed for “firstline workers,” employees who face customers and run day-to-day operations inside companies. Microsoft is positioning this as a more secure way of using a traditional walkie-talkie. Microsoft is embedding the feature at the center of its navigation bar inside Microsoft Teams, suggesting that’s a highly requested feature that will be used by a lot of companies.
2019. Microsoft Teams added features for shift workers
Microsoft Teams released several new features aimed at shift workers (also known as first line workers). For starters, Microsoft is making mobile Teams more flexible to meet the needs of a variety of shift worker jobs. Some might need to record and share audio messages, while others might need to share their location or access the camera. Whatever the requirements, Microsoft has started with a Firstline Worker configuration policy template, which IT can customize to meet the needs of various worker types. The mobile tool also includes a navigation bar, which allows workers to add the tools they use most often for easy access. The idea is to make it as simple as possible to access the tools they need, given that these workers tend to be on their feet or on the move a good part of the day.
2018. Microsoft Teams gets bokeh and meeting recordings with transcripts
Microsoft adds a number of updates to Microsoft Teams and one of those is a feature that automatically detects faces and blurs the background behind a speaker during video meetings. But the more useful new feature in Teams is intelligent recordings. Teams can now automatically generate captions and provide time-coded transcripts for the replays. This feature is coming to Office 365 commercial customers now. If you want to create live streams and on-demand video for a wider audience inside your company, Teams is also getting that capability next month, together with Microsoft Stream and Yammer (which seems to be lingering in the shadow of Teams these days).
2018. Microsoft Teams gets a free version
Microsoft followed Slack's strategy and opened a free version of Teams. After all, it’s Slack’s free tier that helped the work chat app gain so much traction so quickly. Signing users up for Teams is way to get more feet into the door of its application ecosystem, which was once ubiquitous in offices. Once they’ve download teams, workplaces will be hooked into the Microsoft 365 suite. The free tier is limited to up to 300 people per workplace and features built-in audio and video calling for individuals, groups, and full team meetups, 10 GB of team file storage plus additional 2 GB per person for personal storage, integrated, real-time content creation with Office Online apps, including built-in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, integrations with 140+ business apps to choose from, ability to communicate and collaborate with anyone inside or outside your organization, backed by Microsoft’s secure, global infrastructure.
2018. Microsoft Teams will integrate with Cortana
Microsoft Teams, the company’s team collaboration software and challenger to Slack, announced a suite of new features that will roll out to the software throughout 2018. This includes features that will allow users to record, transcribe and save meetings to the cloud, integrations with voice assistant Cortana, inline message translation and several others. The added integration with Cortana’s voice assistance could give Microsoft an edge in its battle with Slack, given the increasing importance of voice-based computing in the workplace and within business productivity applications.
2018. Microsoft Teams gets new app integrations and app store
Microsoft Teams, rolled out its biggest update since the software’s launch last year. The focus of the new set of features is allowing users to better work with apps – something Microsoft Teams accomplishes via Slack-like integrations, search and discovery features, commands, and more. For example, Microsoft Teams now offers a way to search for apps from the new app store where you can browse by category or search by name, category or integration type – like Project Management or BI. Slack, of course, also has its own app directory, which has allowed it to highlight all the work tools that currently work with its team collaboration resource – a move that helped it gain traction in the workplace.
2017. Microsoft upgraded Teams for Enterprises
Microsoft announced a significant upgrade to its Teams collaboration app this week, bumping up the number of people allowed in a single Team from 999 to 2500. When Teams launched last November, people speculated the app was Microsoft's answer to Slack and Stride for Office 365. But with the original Team size limit of 999 people per team, Teams remained an attractive option for small-to-medium enterprises, but held limited appeal for larger organizations. Since its release, one of the most frequently requested improvements from users was an increase to that limit. For companies with over 15,000 employees — in other words, the companies Microsoft appears to be targeting — a 2500 limit is unlikely to be a big enough increase.
2017. Microsoft Teams will replace Skype for Business
Microsoft announced that its new groupchat Teams will become its core communications platform for users running Office 365. Until now, Skype for Business was the company’s product for this. According to Ron Markezich, the company’s corporate VP for Office 365, Teams will become the “hero and primary experience for all voice, video and meetings.” Over time, Teams will replace the current Skype for Business client. Microsoft obviously knows that enterprises don’t move fast, so for those who don’t want to do away with their existing PBX systems and calling capabilities to the cloud, it’ll launch a new version of the Skype for Business server in 2018. For those who do make the transition to Teams, Microsoft promises lots of new calling features and meeting enhancements with outbound and inbound calls to and from regular phones, support for voicemail, call holding, call transfers and other standard telephony features.
2017. Microsoft Teams added guest access
Microsoft announced a number of feature updates to the service Teams. Starting today, you can add anyone with an Azure Active Directory account as a guest to a team. That still means there’s a bit of a barrier to entry here for guest access and Microsoft plans to lower than barrier in the near future by also allowing Teams users to add anybody with a basic Microsoft Account to Teams. Microsoft also announced that 125,000 organizations in 181 markets now use Teams, its Slack competitor for Office 365 subscribers.
2017. Microsoft opened Teams to all Office 365 users
Microsoft's Slack rival - Teams - is now available, and free, for all 85 million monthly active users of Office 365, Microsoft’s suite of cloud services and apps as a web app and native apps for Windows, iOS and Android. Along with it, the company is announcing some 150 integrations with third-party services like Asana, Zendesk and Hootsuite, alongside the ability to chat (with other humans or with bots), security services, customization options and more. For a new app that is coming to the market after the meteoric rise of Slack, as well as other competing services like Workplace from Facebook and Hipchat from Atlassian, some might argue that Teams and Microsoft are late to the game. In its favor, Microsoft is banking on the low-friction aspect of the service: Those being targeted are already using Microsoft apps like Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint and Power BI, so there will be familiarity and convenience. And it’s free to try out.
2016. Microsoft introduced Teams - the main Slack competitor
In the beginning of the year Microsoft wanted to acquire super-popular group chat software Slack, but then decided to build the same own service from the scratch. And here it is - Microsoft Teams, and it looks very similar to Slack. You can create rooms for projects or departments, communicate from desktop or mobile devices and share files and other content. Like Slack, it features bots for notification and auto-replies. The main advantages of Teams (according to Microsoft) are its security and tight integration with other Microsoft applications, like Skype, Word, SharePoint, Planner and OneNote. Teams will be available for free in business subscription plans of Office 365. So Microsoft hopes that it will become the last straw for those companies that still don't use Office 365. Teams is now in preview mode and will be generally available in early 2017.
2016. Skype for Business is available on Mac
Microsoft announced the launch of Skype for Business for Mac Preview – the business-focused version of Skype’s communications services aimed at a commercial client base. I.T. administrators and individuals can sign up to test the new desktop software, which introduces features like Outlook integration, additional security, and calls that allow for up to 250 people versus Skype’s 25 max. However, Microsoft says invites will roll out first to I.T. admins before becoming more broadly available.
2015. Microsoft begins rolling out Skype For Business (to replace Lync)
Microsoft’s Skype for Business, which is designed to replace the company’s older enterprise communication tool Lync, has become publicly available. The company is also now rolling out Skype for Business Online to its Office 365 customers who currently use Lync Online. With Skype for Business, enterprise customers will have access to software that greatly resembles Skype’s consumer-facing client application in look-and-feel, but it comes with enterprise-grade security and compliance features that allow an IT organization to better administer and control the software’s use internally within an organization. Skype for Business conversations are authenticated through Active Directory and encrypted, and IT can manage the company’s user accounts and deployments. The system also interoperates with companies’ PBX systems or legacy video teleconferencing systems, if need be.
2014. Microsoft enabled video calling between Skype and Lync users
Last year Microsoft enabled Skype-Lync interoperation with text messaging and audio. Today, the video integration also becomes available. Skype users can now video call contacts on Lync, and vice versa, Microsoft announced this morning. To use the now cross-platform video calling feature, you don’t have to do anything differently from before – you just kick off the call the same way you do today. However, video calling is supported only on an up-to-date Lync 2013 client on Android, iOS or Windows and on Skype for Windows desktop. Skype is now working to expand this integration to more platforms, starting with iOS and Android. The change follows a series of deeper integrations between the two products, the latter of which will be rebranded “Skype for Business” sometime in 2015.
2014. Microsoft will rename Lync as Skype for Business
Microsoft will rebrand its enterprise communications solution Lync as Skype for Business in 2015. The change will see Lync’s interface harmonized to something close to the current Skype’s interface. Skype for Business won’t be available until next year. Lync won’t fold into Skype entirely — instead, it will remain a separate application. I saw a demo of an early version of the Skype for Business client last week, and it certainly did appear to be quite similar to how Skype looks now. Users in Skype for Business will able to call regular Skype users from the application. The rebranding fits with Microsoft's strategy to "re-invent productivity" for all, not just business. To that end, it wants to offer a unified experience across services, so consumers and businesses have similar experiences.
2013. Microsoft connected Lync and Skype
Almost 300 million people around the world use Skype. This is a very large customer base, that's why many companies add skype-address to their contacts in order to offer customers a convenient communication channel. But in large companies using Skype at the workplace - doesn't fit the corporate security policy. Therefore, the integration of Skype with Lync communication server can become a breakthrough for deploying Skype in large companies. And thus Microsoft can get a significant competitive advantage over Cisco, Avaya and other enterprise communication vendors. That's was the main reason why Microsoft acquired Skype for a lot of money.
2011. Microsoft unplugs Skype from Asterisk
Today Digium (the developer of the open-source PBX-platform Asterisk) has notified its customers that the sales of its product Skype for Asterisk will be terminated since July 26. Recall, Skype and Digium released this Skype for Asterisk connector back in 2009. It allows companies that use Asterisk-based PBX-systems to integrate them with the Skype network and make / receive Skype-calls using the regular office phones. But the new Skype's owner Microsoft, of course, has no particular desire to support the free Asterisk, that competes with its own product Lync (MS Communications Server). So Microsoft decided not to prolong the contract with Digium. Digium assured that existing Skype for Asterisk users will be able to use their Skype-channels during two more years.
2010. Lync 2010 becomes social
Oh, we didn't rename our products for so long time, thought people in Microsoft and decided to rename MS Office Communications Server to Lync. The new version Lync 2010 with a status "release candidate" is already available for free download and contains a large number of new features as compared to OCS. Most interesting are social features, that we used to see more in social networks rather than in VoIP-solutions. First, the activity feeds that you can subscribe to view contact's status changes. Like in the location-services, Lync can determine the actual contact location by the network point to which he is currently connected. People search allows you to find the right person in the company by name and by the area of expertise. Another interesting feature - context call that allows users to push the conversation subject before making a call, so the contact could better prepair to the conversation.
2005. Microsoft to debut Web-based Communicator
Microsoft unveiled Web-based version of its Communicator enterprise messaging software in order to offer customers increased flexibility in accessing the company's collaboration and communications tools. Dubbed Microsoft Office Communicator Web Access, the software aims to help provide customers with an additional option for accessing the software giant's corporate IM system. The company plans to introduce the latest desktop version of Communicator, labeled Microsoft Office Communicator 2005, sometime before the end of June, and has already begun manufacturing the product. According to Microsoft, using Communicator Web Access together with the company's Live Communications Server software will allow workers to access its IM system from any device connected to the Internet. Gupta called the introduction the next step in Microsoft's plan to provide "ubiquitous access to rich presence and an integrated communications experience."
2004. Microsoft to open offer three new Live Meeting subscription plans
Microsoft announced new subscription and licensing plans for its Live Meeting Web conferencing service. The software giant will offer three new subscription plans to better accommodate usage patterns and will add Live Meeting to its volume licensing programs, the most common avenue for large corporate buyers to purchase Microsoft products. Microsoft launched Live Meeting late last year, after it acquired specialist PlaceWare. The service enables users to present PowerPoint slides, jointly edit documents and perform other basic collaboration tasks over the Internet. The new Live Meeting subscription plans include a "named user" model that allows unlimited meetings with up to 15 participants for a designated user. Businesses can also sign up for a "room model" for meetings with more than 15 people taking part--useful for corporate meeting rooms, said Jennifer Callison, Microsoft's director of product management for Live Meeting.
2004. Microsoft, BT team on Web meeting software
BT will resell Live Meeting subscriptions integrated with the company's own conference calling services, according to a statement from the companies. BT also has signed on to use Live Meeting internally for its 150,000 Internet connected employees. Microsoft introduced Live Meeting last year as the outgrowth of its acquisition of Web conferencing specialist PlaceWare. The service allows businesses to present slideshow presentations and conduct more complex collaboration tasks over the Internet. Web conferencing has turned into a booming market over the past few years, with firms embracing the technology as a way to cut down on business travel. The market is led by specialist WebEx but has attracted fresh competition from Microsoft, Macromedia and others.
2003. Microsoft launches Office Live Communications Server
Microsoft is set to begin its most aggressive effort yet to sell instant-messaging services to corporations. While MSN Messenger continues to gain Web users outside the firewall, Windows Messenger became the foundation for Microsoft's loftier plans- its new business IM product - Office Live Communications Server 2003 (LCS). Here's a glimpse at what LCS can currently do: Imagine that an employee receives an Excel spreadsheet a co-worker authored. With LCS, a SmartTag appears under the author's name that allows the employee to right-click on the link in order to check the author's online status. The author may be out to lunch, or perhaps, the author is online, whereupon the employee can then launch an IM window and send the author a message. The company will charge $733 for the server software and a $25 client license per person for large-scale buyers. LCS will not work unless the company is running Windows Server 2003 software.
2003. Microsoft launches Web conferencing service Live Meeting
Microsoft unveiled its Web conferencing service called Live Meeting. It'ss based on technology the Redmond, Wash., software maker obtained when it acquired PlaceWare in early 2002. Live Meeting, like similar services on the market, is largely designed to enhance conference calls with Web content. Participants log into a central Web site, where they can then concurrently view a presentation, exchange notes or ask questions through chat software, and collaboratively edit documents. A number of companies use it for remote training seminars. Live Meeting, an essential part of Office, marks a change in the overall sweep of the product suite. For years, Office has been synonymous with the bundle of desktop applications such as Word or PowerPoint that comes with corporate computers. In the future, Office will encompass a broader collection of applications and services. With Live Meeting, for instance, customers don't download any new software, and no extra software is included in the desktop suite. All the software needed to conduct Web conferences--except for a standard browser--will remain on Microsoft servers.