Microsoft Teams

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Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Office Teams (2018–present).svg
Microsoft Teams' channel tab, as seen on Microsoft Windows application
Microsoft Teams' channel tab, as seen on Microsoft Windows application
Stable release
Android1416/ / October 30, 2019; 2 months ago (2019-10-30)[1]
iOS1.0.87 / October 17, 2019; 3 months ago (2019-10-17)[2]
Windows, macOS1.2.00.26774 / October 9, 2019; 3 months ago (2019-10-09)[3]
Operating systemWindows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android
Size180.2 MB IOS, 56.99 MB Android
Available in26 languages[4][5]
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
TypeCollaborative software
LicenseProprietary commercial cloud software

Microsoft Teams is a unified communication and collaboration platform that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage (including collaboration on files), and application integration. The service integrates with the company's 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[6] 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 14 March 2017.[7][8] It was created, and is currently led, by Brian MacDonald,[9] 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.[10] Qi Lu, EVP of Applications and Services, was leading the push to purchase Slack.[11] After the departure of Lu later that year, Microsoft announced Teams to the public as a direct competitor to Slack on 2 November 2016.[12][13]

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.[14] 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.[15] Microsoft has since added this functionality.[16] In response to Teams' announcement, Slack deepened in-product integration with Google services.[17]

On 3 May 2017 Microsoft announced Microsoft Teams would replace Microsoft Classroom in Office 365 Education (formerly known as Office 365 for Education).[18][19] On 7 September 2017, users began noticing a message that stated "Skype for Business is now Microsoft Teams".[20] This was confirmed on 25 September 2017, at Microsoft's annual Ignite conference.[21]

On 12 July 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.[22]

In January 2019, Microsoft released an update targeting "Firstline Workers" in order to improve interoperability of Microsoft Teams between different computers for retail workers.[23] [24]

On 19 November 2019, Microsoft announced Microsoft Teams reached 20 million active users. This is an increase from 13 million in July. [25]



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.[26]


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.

Connectors are third party services that can submit information to the channel. 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.[27]


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.[28] Quizzes can also be assigned to students through an integration with Office Forms.[29]


Available Clients[edit]

As of September 2019, the following Microsoft Teams clients are available:

  • Windows and MacOS: Included with Office 365 or available for free
  • iOS: Microsoft app in App Store[30]
  • Android: Microsoft app in Google Play[31]
  • Web: Teams web client, supported on common desktop web browsers[32]
  • Linux: since December 2019 as a preview[33]

Discontinued Clients[edit]

  • Windows Phone: client was discontinued in July 2018, and stopped working in October 2018[34]
  • Windows 10 Mobile: as of 2019, the client is listed in the Microsoft store, but marked as "currently not available[35]

See also[edit]

Similar discontinued Microsoft products


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  2. ^ "Microsoft Teams". App Store. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
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  4. ^ "Microsoft demos vocal translator that uses your own voice". Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  5. ^ "Microsoft Teams Review". Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  6. ^ Warren, Tom (November 2, 2016). "Microsoft Teams launches to take on Slack in the workplace".
  7. ^ "Microsoft Teams: 7 things you need to know".
  8. ^ "Microsoft Teams rolls out to Office 365 customers worldwide - Office Blogs". Office Blogs. March 14, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  9. ^ Warren, Tom. "How Microsoft Built its Slack Competitor".
  10. ^ Russell, Jon. "Source: Microsoft mulled an $8 billion bid for Slack, will focus on Skype instead". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  11. ^ Russell, Jon. "Source: Microsoft mulled an $8 billion bid for Slack, will focus on Skype instead". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  12. ^ "Microsoft Teams launches to take on Slack in the workplace". The Verge. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  13. ^ Foley, Mary Jo. "Microsoft launches its Slack competitor, Microsoft Teams | ZDNet". ZDNet. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  14. ^ Warren, Tom (November 2, 2016). "Slack shows it's worried about Microsoft Teams with a full-page newspaper ad".
  15. ^ Bott, Ed. "Slack versus Microsoft Teams: It's really no contest - ZDNet".
  16. ^ "Microsoft Teams: The smart person's guide - TechRepublic".
  17. ^ "Google and Slack deepen partnership in the face of Microsoft Teams".
  18. ^ "Microsoft Classroom to be replaced by Microsoft Teams in Office 365 for Education – SalamanderSoft – Education Integration". Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  19. ^ "Microsoft Classroom Preview has officially been 'dropped'". May 3, 2017. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  20. ^ Foley, Mary Jo. "Microsoft may be repositioning some (or all) of Skype for Business as Teams | ZDNet". ZDNet. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  21. ^ "Microsoft Teams is replacing Skype for Business to put more pressure on Slack". The Verge. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  22. ^ "Microsoft launches free version of Teams". VentureBeat. July 12, 2018. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  23. ^ "Microsoft wins today's buzzword bingo with empowering set of updates to Teams".
  24. ^ "Microsoft demos vocal translator that uses your own voice". -001-11-30T00:00:00+00:00. Retrieved 2019-11-06. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  25. ^ "Microsoft Teams surpasses 20 million daily active users; rival Slack shares slip". Reuters. November 20, 2019. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  26. ^ "Microsoft Teams for Education adds assignments and grading features". On MSFT. May 11, 2018. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  27. ^ "Now available: Outlook add-in to schedule meetings in Microsoft Teams". TECHCOMMUNITY.MICROSOFT.COM. July 31, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  28. ^ Anderson, Kareem (May 2018). "Microsoft Teams for Education adds assignments and grading features". OnMSFT. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  29. ^ Thorp-Lancaster, Dan (June 5, 2018). "Microsoft Teams for Education celebrates first year with batch of new features". Windows Central. Mobile Nations. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  30. ^ "Microsoft Teams". App Store. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  31. ^ "Microsoft Teams - Apps on Google Play". Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  32. ^ "Get clients for Microsoft Teams". Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  33. ^ Salazar, Marissa (December 10, 2019). "Microsoft Teams is now available on Linux". Microsoft Teams Blog. Retrieved December 11, 2019.
  34. ^ "Windows phone app for Microsoft Teams is being retired". May 10, 2018. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  35. ^ "Buy Microsoft Teams". Microsoft Store. Retrieved October 11, 2019.