What Is Microsoft Teams? | Digital Trends


Online staff collaboration is the brand new norm as firms unfold their workforce throughout the globe. Gone are the times of primarily counting on group emails, as groups can now work collectively in actual time utilizing an prompt chat-style interface, regardless of the place they’re.

Microsoft Teams is one among many collaboration instruments designed to convey firm employees collectively in an internet area. It’s not designed for speaking with household and mates, however as an alternative supplies a platform for video conferencing, real-time discussions, doc sharing and enhancing, and extra for firms and firms.

If you need to know extra about Microsoft Teams, learn on!

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is a chat-based workspace initially introduced in 2016 for purchasers subscribing to the Office 365 Enterprise and Business plans, serving because the successor to Microsoft’s Skype for Business platform. It additionally changed the Microsoft Classroom service in Office 365 Education.

Microsoft Teams turned broadly out there on March 14, 2017, for all Office 365 subscriptions. A free model arrived on July 12, 2018, offering a lot of the subscription-based options whereas limiting storage capability and consumer rely. The cell model acquired family-friendly options starting in March, although Microsoft Teams continues to be not designed for private use.

Overall, Microsoft Teams breaks down into 5 most important elements:

  • Team – A digital “building” the place all invited members enter to collaborate.
  • Channel – An particular person “room” inside the “building” that could be open to all staff members or locked as invite-only. Administrators can create a number of “rooms” with particular themes, comparable to Editorial, Gaming, Accounting, HR, and extra.
  • Channel Tabs – Allows you to “pin” posts, recordsdata, apps, and extra to every channel you frequent. They will not be common, so one channel could have completely different tabs from one other.
  • Activity Feed – Connects all channels like a makeshift hallway so you’ll be able to obtain mentions, replies, and different notifications related to the channels you frequent.
  • Chat – Private chats between you and different staff members.

Administrators first create a staff adopted by particular person channels. For giant organizations, a number of groups with a handful of channels could also be needed. The shopper helps multiple staff, permitting members to entry a number of groups via a single interface.

Most enter is thru prompt messaging, however members can conduct VoIP calls and video conferences. With the latter,  Microsoft increased the maximum limit to 10,000 contributors in April, up from 5,000. Members can add others to a “speed dial” checklist or create a gaggle for a multi-user convention. There is a voicemail characteristic too.

Members of a staff have entry to a pool of shared paperwork by clicking Files within the shopper, together with photographs and movies uploaded in channels. Members can open these recordsdata in a browser, obtain them to their PC, or retrieve a hyperlink to share with others. The OneDrive characteristic allows customers to create shared folders, Word paperwork, Excel workbooks, PowerPoint displays, and extra.

Finally, Microsoft Teams integrates with third-party apps, together with Trello, Zoom, Asana, GitHub, Evernote, Adobe Creative Cloud, Salesforce, Google Analytics, and lots of extra. It even works with social apps like YouTube, StubHub, and several other others.

What separates Microsoft Teams from different platforms?

Microsoft Teams is one among a number of staff collaboration instruments. Its largest competitor is Slack, and we pit the 2 in opposition to one another in a separate in-depth article. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, however in case you want a software that works alongside Microsoft 365, Teams is your finest guess.

Workplace from Facebook is an analogous business-oriented collaboration software. One of the key variations is that direct messaging takes place inside Microsoft Teams whereas Facebook’s different depends on a separate Workplace Chat app. Meanwhile, Facebook’s platform is mobile-first whereas Teams places the desktop employee first. Workplace additionally locations a heavy emphasis on Live Videos, however its compatibility with different apps is considerably decrease than Teams.

Another widespread staff collaboration software is Discord. It targets players providing free voice and prompt message capabilities. In this situation, players create or be a part of private and non-private “servers” fairly than “teams.” Like Microsoft Teams, every constructing (server) hosts a number of rooms (channels), solely these rooms are devoted to both textual content or voice, not each. There is a Go Live characteristic as effectively that routinely detects your recreation and permits you to stream it on to your Discord server. Want to make a video name to mates or household? Discord has your again too — all without spending a dime.

Microsoft Teams at a look

Microsoft Teams Breakdown

The interface presents three primary elements. On the left is the navigation bar internet hosting a number of tabs: Activity, Chat, Teams, Calls, and Files. You may even see a three-dot ellipsis icon that opens to a pop-up window internet hosting extra apps, like OneWord, the Teams wiki, and Help. Here you’ll be able to click on the More Apps hyperlink to attach your favourite third-party apps like Trello and Zoom.

Information within the second column is set by the tab you choose within the navigation bar. Click Activity and the second column lists all of the mentions, replies, and different notifications. Select one among these actions and the third column shows the associated dialog. Click the filter button within the second column and you’ll scale back the checklist to only mentions or replies.

Likewise, in case you click on the Chat tab, the second column lists your non-public conversations by the recipient. Select a listed recipient and the third column shows your complete dialog. Click the three-dot ellipsis icon subsequent to the recipient and you’ll pin the dialog, add the person to your contacts, obtain a notification when the person indicators on, and extra.

Finally, click on the Teams tab and a listing of your linked groups and their channels seems within the second column. Channels with new exercise are highlighted in daring textual content. Select a channel and the messages contained inside that channel seem within the third column. Any mentions inside an unselected channel are highlighted by an exclamation level subsequent to the channel identify.

What’s fascinating about Microsoft Teams is you can collaborate with people who converse a distinct language. When a remark seems in a channel that’s not your native language, merely click on the More choices icon subsequent to the remark and choose Translate on the drop-down menu. Microsoft Teams supports 44 languages.

When typing a message, you’ll discover formatting instruments much like Slack, comparable to setting the font measurement, making a bullet checklist, setting a particular topic, utilizing a spotlight, and extra. You may also mark a message as a brand new dialog or announcement, lock responses solely to you and moderators, and publish the message to a number of channels (if allowed). Other instruments embody including emoji, stickers, GIFs, and recordsdata.

To conduct a video assembly, you’ll be able to merely click on the Meet Now digital camera icon on the message toolbar within the third column. Scheduling requires a paid plan, which seems as a calendar icon on the message toolbar.

How a lot does Microsoft Teams value?

The free mannequin consists of the next options:

  • 10GB storage for every staff plus an extra 2GB per individual for private storage.
  • Unlimited and searchable chat messages.
  • Unlimited app integrations.
  • Audio and video calling inside the Teams platform.
  • Real-time content material creation with Office web-based apps.
  • 500,000 most consumer rely.

Microsoft 365 Business Basic prices $5 per consumer per thirty days whereas the Business Standard plan prices $12.50 per consumer per thirty days. Here are the included Microsoft Teams options:

  • 1TB storage per group, 10GB per license, 1TB per individual for private storage.
  • Unlimited and searchable chat messages.
  • 300 most consumer rely.
  • Scheduled conferences.
  • Audio and video calling inside the Teams platform.
  • Real-time content material creation with Office desktop apps (Business Standard solely).
  • Business apps together with Bookings, Invoicing, and MileIQ (Business Standard solely).

Office 365 E3 prices $20 per consumer per thirty days. It provides:

  • Audio conferencing.
  • Phone system and PSTN calling.
  • Unlimited private cloud storage.
  • eDiscovery.
  • Access to on-premises Exchange, SharePoint, or Skype for Business servers.
  • FastTrack Deployment help.

Ultimately, in case you want a software to speak with family and friends, Skype is your better solution, not Microsoft Teams. Small companies might get away with utilizing the free mannequin, however giant companies and firms ought to examine the three paid plans.

For a extra detailed view, Microsoft lists every feature throughout all 4 free and paid fashions on its web site.

Where are you able to get Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is accessible on the next platforms:

How to get began with Microsoft Teams without spending a dime

If you need to pattern Microsoft’s collaboration platform, right here’s how. For the free model, the one requirement is a Microsoft account, which you’ll create in the course of the setup course of. You don’t want a Microsoft 365 subscription to make use of Microsoft Teams without spending a dime.

Step 1: Go to teams.microsoft.com and click on the Sign up without spending a dime button.

Step 2: Enter a Microsoft account electronic mail handle. If you utilize a distinct electronic mail handle, it will likely be used to create a Microsoft account.

Step 3: Select your intent — use Teams for college or work — after which click on the blue Next button. Do not choose Friends and Family, as you’ll be compelled to make use of Skype.

Step 4: Click the blue Create Account button if you’re not utilizing a Microsoft account. Otherwise, use your Microsoft account password and skip to Step 8.

Step 5: Create a password and click on the blue Next button

Step 6: Enter the verification code emailed from Microsoft and click on the blue Next button.

Step 7: Repeat one other code proven on the display screen and click on the blue Next button.

Step 8: Finally, enter the required credentials and click on the blue Set Up Teams button.

Step 9: Follow the preliminary setup course of and begin inviting staff members.

You can invite members 3 ways: Copy a hyperlink to your PC’s clipboard, invite them via contacts saved in your Microsoft Account, or ship an invite by electronic mail.

What’s new in Microsoft Teams?

The April 2020 update introduced many extra options to raised help groups working from dwelling. These embody:

  • The Teams assembly stage now helps 9 contributors who may be seen concurrently, up from 4.
  • Background results help you add a pre-generated background, hiding your messy kitchen.
  • Background blur arrives for the iOS app.
  • Live captions arrive for iOS and Android.
  • Raise hand characteristic indicators that you simply need to make a remark in video conferences.
  • The reside occasion attendee rely elevated to 20,000.
  • Concurrent occasions elevated to 50.
  • Event period elevated to 16 hours per broadcast.
  • You can now share system audio in reside occasions.
  • Support for the Yammer app is now included.

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