Microsoft Teams is an amazing software when it comes to communicating professionally for business and work. But as the pandemic continues its grasp on mankind, Microsoft understands the need to connect with family and friends virtually and maintain social distancing at the same time. Hence, it has introduced new features in Microsoft Teams, making it available for personal communications with anyone for free, and is offering services similar to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other Instant Messaging apps.
WhatsApp has been in news since the Controversial Policy changes it has made with regards to user data sharing. Many users have been looking for alternatives and switched to Telegram and Signal. But we believe that after the announcement on Microsoft.com, Microsoft Teams seems to have become the best alternative for any existing IM or Video Conferencing apps.
Teams has always been considered as one of the best work management platforms and has done a great job to connect people located anywhere in the world to work together in the lockdown situation. But the same app has now made certain changes and allows users to connect with family and friends in addition to work colleagues.
Microsoft has officially announced that Microsoft Teams can be used for personal use on Android Smartphones, iOS devices, Desktop and Web version for free.
Microsoft Teams Features
Create Tasks from Chat Window
Microsoft Teams allows its users to generate to-do lists and create tasks while chatting with anyone Although this feature was designed for a Project Manager to allocate tasks to his team members but can also be used to plan your next birthday party or a get-together event. The plans can also be mutually decided by creating Polls and identifying which option has most of the votes. Microsoft Teams can send SMS to family and friends who do not use Microsoft Teams.
Unified dashboard and Video Calls
Microsoft has allowed 300 users to join a single call for 24 hours and that too for free. I wonder what a conference call with 300 people would sound like but it can be used by someone delivering a lecture or someone explaining important measures to a group of people or society. The liberty granted by Microsoft is temporary and will remain until the Pandemic is waived off. The final options would include a free one on one video call for 24 hours and the group calls would support 100 users with a 60 min cap time.
Besides, there is a Together mode that can change the view and make the participants feel that they are sitting in a lounge. The unified dashboard allows users to maintain all the content shared in the chat. Users can send emojis, animations, and GIFs during calls to express their feelings over a particular matter being discussed. For those who don’t have Teams installed or a Teams account, you can still join the video call using your web browser.
Switch Between Profiles
Those using Teams for professional use need not worry as they would be able to create different profiles for Work, Family, and Friends and switch between them with ease. The unified dashboard also features storing all the files and media shared over a particular chat, grouped.
Overall, Microsoft teams seem to be a promising application that will help us to connect with our family and friends more efficiently. But as most of us are used to the existing IM apps, will it be convenient to switch over to a new app by all the people we know? And even if some of are stuck on the old apps then the users who have switched to Microsoft teams will still have to keep the older apps to communicate with those who haven’t switched.