In a world of quarantines and remote work, apps like Microsoft Teams and Slack have become more useful to businesses than ever. Fostering collaboration and communication is so important to keeping employees engaged. These apps have soared in popularity since working from home became the norm rather than the exception.
After months of relying on these products, people are seeing just how useful they can be. They make it so much easier to be responsive. They allow multiple people to work on projects together, even when they are geologically separate. Now Microsoft wants to bring that technology to consumers.
Teams has always been focused on the business side of its use. The advantages it has over traditional communication applications could clearly be useful to anyone.
Back in 2018, a free but restricted version of Teams was released. It never felt like a tool that could be useful among a group of friends or family members. After more than a year of work, Microsoft made the announcement during its big Microsoft 365 reveal that it was ready to unveil a preview version of Teams to consumers. As soon as it goes live, anyone can sign up. Only Microsoft 365 subscribers will be able to take full advantage.
Microsoft does not want to position Teams as an alternative to texting apps. It is supposed to be a tool to help you plan events with friends and families, book clubs, fantasy football leagues, and other gatherings. The personal version will support multiple rooms, direct messages, attachments, video calls, calendars, to-do lists, and much more. Very similar to the business version. Since the app is integrated with Microsoft 365, you can also use it to collaborate on office documents stored in the cloud.
There are also some features specific to the consumer version, like location sharing and Safe. Location sharing being the ability to show others where you are at and when you are on your way home or to a meet up. Safe is Teams protected environment you can use to store confidential and private information like wifi passwords, website login information, or rewards accounts. Its secured with end-to-end encryption and two-factor authentication, so you know your information will be safe.
Recently renamed Microsoft 365, the suite of tools is constantly being expanded for businesses and consumers alike. For consumers, first with the Microsoft 365 family plan, and now with added features and applications. Things like the play my emails feature will enable hands free text to speech so you can listen to your emails anywhere, even on the road. Added applications include the new Microsoft Family Safety which will allow families to manage screen time across devices and make it easy to check the location of family members.
Microsoft’s focus on consumer products for families and friends doesn’t stop at Teams. They launched a new website earlier this year, named Home and Family Resources. It introduces regular people to tools that help them connect, learn, and play at home. The site has everything from blogs to guides to help the normal person get the most out of their time at home.
To use the Teams preview, you can download it from the google play store and sign up with your personal Microsoft account. If you already use Teams for work, you can link your personal account to the app. One can switch between personal and business whenever you need to.
Contact Zunesis to find out more about Teams and other solutions that Microsoft has to offer.