Microsoft has introduced today Microsoft Teams Essentials, a new standalone Teams offering designed for small businesses and organizations including retailers, restaurants, nonprofits, and more. Teams Essentials require no IT expertise, and it includes more features than the free version of Teams that Microsoft launched to compete with Slack.
The core features in Microsoft Teams Essentials include unlimited group video calls for up to 30 hours with up to 300 people, group chats, and calendar integration with Outlook and Google Calendar. Teams Essentials also offer 10GB of cloud storage for seamless file sharing and task management with colleagues. However, Teams Essentials will lack the Channels feature and its threaded messages available in the regular Teams app.
At $4 per user per month, Microsoft 365 CVP Jared Spataro believes that Teams Essentials is "the most affordable all-in-one solution in the market today.” Microsoft 365 Business Basic, a slightly more expensive plan at $5 per user per month includes Everything listed in Microsoft Teams Essentials plus meetings recordings with transcripts, business-class email, 1TB of cloud storage, as well as web and mobile versions of Microsoft's Office apps.
Microsoft Teams Essentials will be available to purchase directly from Microsoft’s website, but it will also be offered by various Microsoft Cloud partners including Crayon, T-Mobile, and Rhipe. "With Teams Essentials, we are excited to take another step in our commitment and enable small companies to collaborate securely from virtually anywhere,” Spataro said today.