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Microsoft Teams Review

By
Chad Brooks
,
business.com writer
| Updated
Jun 28, 2019
Home
> Technology
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Microsoft Teams provides full video conferencing services as well as other tools to foster collaboration among your employees. This software has all of the functionality of Skype for Business, plus more. With this video conferencing solution, you also get access to Microsoft's most popular programs.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams

The Best Video Conferencing Service Reviews of 2019

The Verdict

Microsoft Teams is a quality video conference solution available in both free and paid service plans. The paid plans include access to other popular Microsoft programs, including Word, Excel and Outlook.

What truly makes this service appealing is the cost. This is one of the most affordable video conferencing services we found during our research.  Despite the low cost of the system, you have access to important collaborative tools. Among the key features are the integration of Microsoft Office applications, meeting notes, webinar recordings, polls and surveys, screen sharing, and whiteboards.  

Microsoft Teams was unveiled in 2017, essentially as a replacement for Skype for Business. Microsoft is currently moving Skype for Business users over to Microsoft Teams. When the transfer process will be complete is still yet to be determined.

To see all of our recommendations for video conferencing services, visit our best picks page. 

Microsoft Teams Pricing 

Microsoft Teams is an affordable video conference solution with several service plans that fit any business's budget. There are both free and paid plans, and the paid plans are among the most affordable on the market.  

All plans, both free and paid, allow users to host meetings with up to 250 attendees.  

Below see how the service plans stack up against each other:  

Free

  • Cost: $0
  • Cloud storage: 2GB of storage for each user, 10GB of shared storage
  • Top features: Screen sharing, channel meetings, data encryption, and unlimited messages and search
  • Microsoft programs: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote online apps

Office 365 Business Essentials

  • Cost: $5 per user, per month with an annual commitment; $6 per user, per month with a monthly commitment
  • Cloud storage: 1TB
  • Features: Everything in the Free plan, plus guest access, scheduled meetings, meeting recording, team chat, custom email domain address, the ability to host webinars, audio conferencing, scheduling assistance, note taking, desktop sharing, uploading files and chat messaging
  • Microsoft programs: Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Microsoft Planner and web versions of Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint  

Office 365 Business Premium

  • Cost: $12.50 per user, per month with an annual commitment; $15 per user, per month with an annual commitment
  • Cloud storage:1TB
  • Features:Everything in the Free plan, plus guest access, scheduled meetings, meeting recording, team chat, custom email domain address, the ability to host webinars, audio conferencing, scheduling assistance, note taking, desktop sharing, uploading files and chat messaging
  • Microsoft programs: Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Microsoft Planner, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access 

Larger organizations can choose from several Microsoft Office 365 enterprise plans. One of the biggest differences is that these plans support an unlimited number of users. The enterprise plans cost between $8 and $35 per user, per month. You can examine these plans here

Features 

While it might not have all the features as other video conferencing services, Microsoft Teams provides many of the most valuable ones.  

You can, for instance, host calls with up to 250 participants. In addition, the host can share their screen and record the meeting for those who are unable to attend.  

With the Free plan, you can only host instant meetings. Users who purchase a paid plan can schedule meetings in advance. Another valuable feature is the option to take notes with the application's built-in note-taking tool. Meeting hosts also can mute others, turn cameras on and off, and remove other participants. Hosts can also customize the specific features an attendee can access.  

Microsoft Teams also allows users to create polls and surveys during a meeting to gather feedback, and team members can use whiteboards to foster collaboration. With Microsoft Teams, you can host webinars for thousands of people at one time.  

Microsoft Teams is compatible with cameras, microphones, displays and speakers for organizations wanting to add video functionality to a conference room or other meeting rooms in their office. 

Pros and Cons

The biggest benefits of Microsoft Teams are the cost and access to other Microsoft programs. If you’re looking for a free service, Microsoft Teams is an excellent option. Few conferencing services offer as much functionality for free as Microsoft Teams. Many other video conferencing solutions offer free services, but few allow you to host meetings with as many participants as Microsoft Teams does.  

Costs for the paid plans are also considerably cheaper than what many other providers charge. Which, when you consider what else you are getting with the paid plans, is a serious bargain. Access to popular Microsoft programs – Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook – in addition to a conferencing solution can be a significant cost savings for businesses on a tight budget.  

We found Microsoft Teams relatively simple to use. You can sign up for the service using just an email address. Once you are logged in, you invite others to join your team. Anyone from inside or outside of your organization can be on your team for video meetings and group chat conversations. This service is an excellent communication tool that lets you collaborate in real time with your colleagues. 

The software is easy to understand. There are buttons on the bottom of the screen that allow you to turn your audio and video on and off and share your screen.  

One downside to Microsoft Teams is that you can't conduct video conferences from a web browser. There is a web app, but  to host or join a video meeting, you need to be on either the desktop or mobile app.

Another potential negative is that reaching someone at Microsoft for support, especially by phone, can be difficult. Since Microsoft supports so many programs, finding a representative who can provide help specifically for Microsoft Teams can be trying. Our call was transferred several times before we spoke with someone who helped us.

Customer Support 

The best way to reach Microsoft is online. You fill out an online form to get help via a range of self-help solutions. In addition, your company's Office 365 administrator can contact Microsoft directly for help.  

Microsoft's website offers a number of valuable support materials specifically related to Microsoft Teams, such as training videos, articles and tips on all of the system's features and tools, so you can find an answer to your question.  

Editor's note: Need a video conferencing system for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you with free information. 

 

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Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams

The Best Video Conferencing Service Reviews of 2019

The Verdict

Microsoft Teams is a quality video conference solution available in both free and paid service plans. The paid plans include access to other popular Microsoft programs, including Word, Excel and Outlook.

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer with more than 20 years of media experience. A graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff as a senior writer. Currently, Chad covers a wide range of B2B products and services, including business phone systems, time and attendance systems, payroll services, and conference call services. Before joining Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago. Chad's first book, "How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business," was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.