Microsoft Teams's channel tab, as seen on Microsoft Windows application
|Operating system||Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android|
|Size||225.7 MB (macOS), 61.14 MB (Android)|
|Available in||26 languages|
|License||Proprietary commercial cloud software|
Microsoft Teams is a business-oriented communication and collaboration platform that combines workplace chat, video meetings, file storage , and application integration. The service integrates with the Office 365 subscription office productivity suite and features extensions that can integrate with non-Microsoft products. Microsoft Teams is a competitor to services such as Slack and is the evolution and upgrade path from Microsoft Skype for Business.
Microsoft announced Teams at an event in New York, and launched the service worldwide on March 14, 2017. It was created during an internal hackathon at the company Headquarters, and is currently led by Brian MacDonald, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft.
- On August 29th, 2007, Microsoft purchased Parlano and its persistent group chat product, MindAlign. 
- On March 31st, 2009, Microsoft patent application was granted patent US7512655B2 "System and method for managing information and collaborating" with inventors listed as Brawnski Armstrong, Enrico Ferrari, Eric J. Kristoff, Graham Lawlor, Pat O'Donnell, Adam Radulovic, Dave Schonberg, Robert Seymour, Eric Sinclair and David Zaret. 
- On March 4, 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. Qi Lu, EVP of Applications and Services, was leading the push to purchase Slack. After the departure of Lu later that year, Microsoft announced Teams to the public as a direct competitor to Slack on November 2, 2016.
- 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. ZDNet reported that the companies were not competing for the same audience, as Teams, at the time, did not let members outside the subscription join the platform, and small businesses and freelancers would have been unlikely to switch. Microsoft has since added this functionality. In response to Teams' announcement, Slack deepened in-product integration with Google services.
- On May 3, 2017 Microsoft announced Microsoft Teams would replace Microsoft Classroom in Office 365 Education (formerly known as Office 365 for Education). On September 7, 2017, users began noticing a message that stated "Skype for Business is now Microsoft Teams". This was confirmed on September 25, 2017, at Microsoft's annual Ignite conference.
- 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 the number of users and team file storage capacity.
- In January 2019, Microsoft released an update targeting "Firstline Workers" in order to improve interoperability of Microsoft Teams between different computers for retail workers.
- On November 19, 2019, Microsoft announced Microsoft Teams reached 20 million active users. This is an increase from 13 million in July. It announced a "Walkie Talkie" feature in early 2020 that uses push-to-talk on smartphones and tablets over Wi-Fi or cellular data. The feature was designed for employees who speak with customers or run day-to-day operations.
- On March 19, 2020, Microsoft announced Microsoft Teams had hit 44 million daily users, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Microsoft reported that by April 2020, Microsoft Teams had hit 75 million daily users. On a single day in April, it logged 4.1 billion meeting minutes.
- On June 22, 2020, Microsoft announced that its acquired video game live streaming service Mixer would shut down in July, and that its staff would be transferred to the Microsoft Teams division.
Teams allows 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.
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 text as well as images, GIFs and custom made memes.
Direct messages allow users to send private messages to a specific user rather than a group of people.
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. This supports thousands of users that can connect via a meeting link
Teams Live Events
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. Quizzes can also be assigned to students through an integration with Office Forms.
Microsoft Teams is based on a number of Microsoft-specific protocols. Video conferences are realized over the protocol MNP24, known from the Skype consumer version. The protocol MS-SIP from Skype for Business is not used any more to connect Teams clients. VoIP and video conference clients based on SIP and H.323 need special gateways to connect to Microsoft Teams servers. With the help of Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE), clients behind Network address translation routers and restrictive firewalls are also able to connect, if peer to peer is not possible.
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