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Microsoft has announced a new standalone version to its collaboration platform, Teams, which is exclusively designed to be used by small businesses, as it only charges $4 per user monthly. Microsoft Teams Essentials could pose as a direct competitor for zoom.

Microsoft plans to launch the first standalone version of Microsoft Teams, which is exclusively designed for use by small businesses. The program will include all the fundamental meeting components of Microsoft Teams without the traditional Office app bundles. With its low price and a range of superior meeting features and channel integration system (resembling Slack), Teams Essentials can become the direct competitor for zoom.

Features of Microsoft Team Essentials

Microsoft Teams Essentials is specifically engineered for small businesses. It amalgamates features to satisfy the needs of SMEs by enabling them to serve customers effectively. With Team Essentials, small businesses can carry out unlimited group video calls for up to 30 hours. The program also offers group chat, file sharing, and calendaring features.

Difference between Team Essentials and Microsoft 365 Business Basic

The primary difference between Team Essentials and Microsoft 365 Business Basic is observed in its functionality and cloud storage options. Team Essentials extend a limited OneDrive storage of 10GB, whereas Business Basic extends over 1TB storage on OneDrive.

Similarly, Team Essentials also lacks a few features that can be found on Microsoft Teams. With Essentials, businesses can miss out on the meeting recording feature, transcript functionality, real-time translation, breakout room, and whiteboard integration. 

However, the standalone version of Teams provides all the basic features that small businesses require, including video calls, meetings, and private group chats.

Shortcomings of Team Essentials

While Team Essentials is ideal for small businesses, it lacks a few features that can further streamline the user experience. For instance, the program misses the app extensibility that enables businesses to have a centralized solution for all their communication and planning needs. That said, Microsoft plans to include Google Calendar integration into Teams Essentials, which will further add to its standalone feature.

Despite its limitations, Microsoft Team Essentials is still the most cost-effective communication platform for small businesses, as it is available for a low price of $4.