Microsoft’s (MSFT) new Teams Essentials is dirt cheap – know features

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Microsoft’s (MSFT) new Teams Essentials is dirt cheap – know features

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 Microsoft’s (MSFT) new Teams Essentials is dirt cheap – know features
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Highlights

  • The latest version is specially designed for small businesses and has key features like video calls, file sharing, calendaring, and group chat.

  • Teams Essentials is Microsoft’s first standalone service, separate from its Office 365 software suite.

  • Teams Essentials is priced at just US$4 a month per user, and up to 300 people can participate in each group meeting.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) stock was trading marginally up at 0.22% on Thursday afternoon, a day after it launched a cheaper version of corporate communications suite Teams.

But its competitors’ stocks, Zoom Video Communications, Inc (NASDAQ: ZM) and RingCentral, Inc. (NYSE: RNG), slid more than 3.5% and 1.9%, respectively, on the news.

The latest version of Teams is primarily for small businesses and has all the essential features like video calls, file sharing, calendaring, and group chat. Teams Essentials is Microsoft's first standalone service, separate from its Office 365 software suite.

The service includes group meetings up to 30 hours and 10 GB of cloud storage for each user.

Around 300 people can participate in each group meeting. Teams Essentials is priced at just US$4 a month per user. In addition, the new version offers accessible functions. For instance,  one can attend meetings without installing the software. Teams Essentials can also integrate with Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook. The service also includes Microsoft's Slack-like chat software.

“We know how difficult the past 20 months have been for small businesses

“Teams Essentials is built specifically to meet the unique needs of small businesses, enabling them to thrive in this new era of work,” Microsoft’s corporate VP of Modern Work, Jared Spataro, said.

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The latest version of Teams is specially for small business and has all the key features like video calls, file sharing, calendaring, and group chat.

Source: Pixabay

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How it fares against competitors

By contrast, Zoom Video (ZM) charges US$14.99 a month from each user for its basic version, which also has a 30-hour limit for meetings but is restricted to only 100 participants. Also, Zoom Video offers only one gigabyte of cloud storage for each license, a tenth of what Microsoft is offering.

For small businesses, it charges US$19.99 per month for each licensee.

In a reaction, RingCentral chief marketing officer Jaya Kumar said Teams Essentials would compete with RingCentral’s free version of the communications software.

Noting that small businesses are the heartbeat of America, he said that RingCentral’s free video and messaging app, RingCentral Video Pro, has been a boon for the small enterprises since last year.

The RingCentral software offers more features like recording, presentation, live transcription, etc., that small businesses need to connect with their clients and scale their operations efficiently, he said.

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