Microsoft Teams zooms in with free all-day video and voice calls
Microsoft Teams is adding a free all-day voice and video calling option to take on platforms like Zoom and Google Meet. The free offer will help users connect with up to 300 participants for 24 hours. Microsoft made the new announcement just days after Teams rival Zoom announced that it would temporarily lift its 40-minute meeting limit on Thanksgiving. In addition to free calls throughout the day, Microsoft Teams is updated with the ability to create a group chat with up to 250 people and view up to 49 members simultaneously during virtual conversations.
How reported by The Verge, Microsoft Teams is ready to attract Focus users starting the new video calling option throughout the day. The company confirmed the development through a blog post.
“To help you stay connected in the coming months, you will be able to meet for 24 hours with up to 300 participants until more is specified,” the company said.
Users can join a virtual call in Microsoft Teams without the need for a Microsoft account or the Teams app. A host in Microsoft Teams can invite people through a link that can be accessed directly from a web browser. This works similar to Zoom, Google Meet and other similar video conferencing platforms.
Microsoft It’s also updating Teams with the ability to start communicating with a group of up to 250 people at a time. The application also seamlessly syncs existing chats between phone and computer.
To make the experience quite similar to Zoom which already displays 49 members in a single window, Microsoft Teams desktop and web apps are also adding support for viewing up to 49 friends or family in a gallery view or through the Together mode feature introduced in June to reduce fatigue.
Microsoft also provides support for uploading and sharing photos and videos directly from a computer in any personal or group chat. Additionally, the Teams desktop and web applications have the option of allowing professionals to add their personal account and chat or call their friends and family.
In addition to the changes planned for desktop users, Microsoft is updating the Teams mobile app with a feature that allows users to communicate with contacts who don’t have it installed on their phones. Recipients will receive SMS messages. They will also be able to reply to those messages as a normal text message. Additionally, SMS participants will get a link to download the Teams app on their phones.
Microsoft is initially providing SMS support to the Teams app in preview for its users in the US and Canada. The app also has the option to add group chats events to the device calendar, receive updates on tasks and locations in the activity feed, and add photos to the personal safe.
The Teams app for Android and iOS also has the option to allow your loved ones to receive automatic location alerts when you go to or arrive at a designated location. The app too added a location sharing feature at the beginning of this year.
In October, CEO Satya nadella announced that Microsoft Teams passed the 115 million mark daily active users. The platform was initially designed as a communication solution for companies. However, as we are all staying home due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Redmond company is transforming Microsoft Teams as a comprehensive solution for end consumers, along with an attractive option for business customers.