Microsoft Teams

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Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams logo.png
Microsoft Teams' channel tab, as seen on Microsoft Windows application
Microsoft Teams' channel tab, as seen on Microsoft Windows application
Developer(s) Microsoft
Stable release / July 18, 2018; 28 days ago (2018-07-18)
Operating system Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
Size iOS: 114 MB
Available in 26 languages[citation needed]
List of languages
English, Akan, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian Bokmål, Norwegian Nynorsk, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese and Turkish
Type Collaborative software
License Proprietary commercial cloud software

Microsoft Teams is a platform that combines workplace chat, meetings, notes, and attachments. The service integrates with the company's Office 365 subscription office productivity suite, including Microsoft Office and Skype, and features extensions that can integrate with non-Microsoft products.[1] Microsoft announced Teams at an event in New York, and launched the service worldwide on 14 March 2017.[2][3]

Microsoft Teams was created, and is currently led, by Brian MacDonald,[4] Corporate Vice President at Microsoft.


On 4 March 2016, news broke that Microsoft had considered bidding $8 billion for Slack, but that Bill Gates was against the purchase, stating that the firm should instead focus on improving Skype for Business.[5] Qi Lu, EVP of Applications and Services, was leading the push to purchase Slack.[6] After the departure of Lu later that year, Microsoft announced Teams to the public as a direct competitor to Slack on 2 November 2016.[7][8]

Slack ran a full-page advertisement in the New York Times acknowledging the competing service. Though Slack is used by 28 companies in the Fortune 100, The Verge wrote executives will question paying for the service if Teams provides a similar function in their company's existing Office 365 subscription at no added cost.[9] ZDNet reported that the companies were not competing for the same audience, as Teams does not let members outside the subscription join the platform, and small businesses and freelancers would be unlikely to switch.[10] Microsoft plans to add this functionality.[11] In response to Teams' announcement, Slack deepened in-product integration with Google services.[12]

On 3 May 2017 Microsoft announced Microsoft Teams would replace Microsoft Classroom in Office 365 Education (formerly known as Office 365 for Education).[13][14] On 7 September 2017, users began noticing a message that stated "Skype for Business is now Microsoft Teams".[15] This was confirmed on 25 September 2017, at Microsoft's annual Ignite conference.[16]

On July 12 2018 Microsoft announced a free version of Microsoft Teams, offering most of the platform's communication options for no charge but limiting number of users and team file storage capacity.[17]



Teams allow communities, groups, or teams to join through a specific URL or invitation sent by a team administrator or owner. Teams for Education allows admins and teachers to set up specific teams for classes, professional learning communities (PLCs), staff members and everyone.[18]


Within a team, members can set up channels. Channels are topics of conversation that allow team members to communicate without the use of email or group SMS (texting). Users can reply to posts with images, GIF's and custom made memes.

Direct messages allow users to send private messages to a specific user rather than a group of people.

Connectors are third party services that can submit information to the channel, some connectors include MailChimp, Facebook Pages, Twitter and Bing News.


Teams supports public switched telephone network (PSTN) conferencing allowing users to call phone numbers from the client.


Meetings can be scheduled or created ad-hoc and users visiting the channel will be able to see that a meeting is currently in progress. Teams also has a plugin for Microsoft Outlook to invite others into a Teams meeting.[19]


Microsoft Teams allows teachers to distribute, provide feedback, and grade student assignments turned-in via Teams using the Assignments tab, available to Office 365 for Education subscribers.[20] Quizzes can also be assigned to students through an integration with Office Forms.[21]


As of November 2017, the following Microsoft Teams clients are available:

  • Windows and MacOS: Included with Office 365
  • iOS: Microsoft app in iTunes app store[22]
  • Android: Microsoft app in Google Play[23]
  • Windows 10 Mobile and Windows Phone 8.1[24]

See also[edit]

Similar discontinued Microsoft products


  1. ^ Warren, Tom (November 2, 2016). "Microsoft Teams launches to take on Slack in the workplace". 
  2. ^ "Microsoft Teams: 7 things you need to know". 
  3. ^ "Microsoft Teams rolls out to Office 365 customers worldwide - Office Blogs". Office Blogs. 2017-03-14. Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  4. ^ Warren, Tom. "How Microsoft Built its Slack Competitor". 
  5. ^ Russell, Jon. "Source: Microsoft mulled an $8 billion bid for Slack, will focus on Skype instead". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  6. ^ Russell, Jon. "Source: Microsoft mulled an $8 billion bid for Slack, will focus on Skype instead". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  7. ^ "Microsoft Teams launches to take on Slack in the workplace". The Verge. Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  8. ^ Foley, Mary Jo. "Microsoft launches its Slack competitor, Microsoft Teams | ZDNet". ZDNet. Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  9. ^ Warren, Tom (November 2, 2016). "Slack shows it's worried about Microsoft Teams with a full-page newspaper ad". 
  10. ^ Bott, Ed. "Slack versus Microsoft Teams: It's really no contest - ZDNet". 
  11. ^ "Microsoft Teams: The smart person's guide - TechRepublic". 
  12. ^ "Google and Slack deepen partnership in the face of Microsoft Teams". 
  13. ^ "Microsoft Classroom to be replaced by Microsoft Teams in Office 365 for Education – SalamanderSoft – Education Integration". Retrieved 2017-06-21. 
  14. ^ "Microsoft Classroom Preview has officially been 'dropped'". 2017-05-03. Retrieved 2017-06-21. 
  15. ^ Foley, Mary Jo. "Microsoft may be repositioning some (or all) of Skype for Business as Teams | ZDNet". ZDNet. Retrieved 2017-09-26. 
  16. ^ "Microsoft Teams is replacing Skype for Business to put more pressure on Slack". The Verge. Retrieved 2017-09-26. 
  17. ^ "Microsoft launches free version of Teams". VentureBeat. 2018-07-12. Retrieved 2018-07-16. 
  18. ^ "Microsoft Teams for Education adds assignments and grading features". On MSFT. 2018-05-11. Retrieved 2018-06-04. 
  19. ^ "Now available: Outlook add-in to schedule meetings in Microsoft Teams". TECHCOMMUNITY.MICROSOFT.COM. 2017-07-31. Retrieved 2018-04-25. 
  20. ^ Anderson, Kareem (May 2018). "Microsoft Teams for Education adds assignments and grading features". OnMSFT. Retrieved 7 July 2018. 
  21. ^ Thorp-Lancaster, Dan (5 June 2018). "Microsoft Teams for Education celebrates first year with batch of new features". Windows Central. Mobile Nations. Retrieved 7 July 2018. 
  22. ^ "Microsoft Teams on the App Store". App Store. Retrieved 2017-10-15. 
  23. ^ Corporation, Microsoft (2017-10-13), Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Corporation, retrieved 2017-10-15 
  24. ^ "Get Microsoft Teams - Microsoft Store". Microsoft Store. Retrieved 2017-10-15.