After a limited preview, which began in November 2016, on March 15 Microsoft made Teams generally available to its more than 85 million business users of Office 365. The communication and collaboration platform is a free addition to almost all existing monthly subscription plans of the cloud service. Besides the web browsers, users may access the functionality via desktop and mobile apps for Windows, Android and IOS devices.
Teams is much more than just another chat-based system providing group discussions and video calls options. The application is integrated with the rest of the Microsoft productivity suite (Excel, Word, OneNote, SharePoint, Power BI, etc.) and comes with connectors to Dynamics 365, Salesforce, Jira, MailChimp, Google Analytics, Stack Overflow and more than 150 other external software solutions and bots.
“The shift to modern working styles that are open and transparent by default are part of our core philosophy of one size does not fit all,” Mira Lane, Microsoft Teams’ UX lead said in an interview. “Organizations are different in how they do business and collaborate. Some will use multiple tools, for example Yammer for a CEO to speak to the whole organization, but for more tight collaboration they’ll use Microsoft Teams. We think it’s okay to be fluid.”
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