Microsoft could soon offer a free version of Teams to compete with Slack

Laurent Giret

Microsoft Teams

It’s been almost a year since Microsoft Teams became generally available to Office 365 customers, and it seems that the Slack competitor could soon adopt a freemium business model. According to a new report from Petri, it appears that the code of the latest developer preview of Microsoft Teams mentions “freemium” features quite explicitly.

While guest access in Teams for MSA accounts has been delayed, one line in the developer preview specifically mentions that “freemium users” will be distinct from guest users using MSA accounts. Another line mentions freemium storage limits and the ability to “upgrade to paid version.”

As of today, you need an Office 365 account with the appropriate Office 365 license plan to use Microsoft Teams. This makes it pretty hard for Microsoft to compete with Slack, which offers a free tier with limited features to help companies or small teams get on board. It makes sense for Microsoft to open up access to Microsoft Teams, though it’s still not clear what features would require an Office 365 subscription. Presumably, a free tier would only allow small teams to work together, with maybe some restrictions to audio and video conferencing features.

We hope to learn more details when Microsoft finally ships Guest Access for MSA accounts, though there is still no ETA for this feature. Let us know in the comments if you think a free version of Microsoft Teams could make the team communication app more competitive this year.