It’s been one year since we introduced Microsoft 365, a holistic workplace solution that empowers everyone to work together in a secure way. In that time, Microsoft 365 seats have grown by more than 100 percent, building on the more than 135 million commercial monthly Office 365 users, 200 million Windows 10 commercial devices in use, and over 65 million seats of Enterprise Mobility + Security.
This momentum is driven by customers—in every industry—who are transforming their organizations to enable high performance from a workforce that is more diverse, distributed, and mobile than ever before. Microsoft 365 is designed to empower every type of worker—whether on the first lines of a business, managing a small team, or leading an entire organization.
Today, we are introducing four new ways Microsoft 365 connects people across their organization and improves collaboration habits, including extending the power of Microsoft Teams and new AI-infused capabilities in Microsoft 365.
1—Try Microsoft Teams, now available in a free version
To address the growing collaboration needs of our customers, last year we introduced Microsoft Teams, a powerful hub for teamwork that brings together chat, meetings, calling, files, and apps into a shared workspace in Microsoft 365. Now, more than 200,000 businesses across 181 markets use Teams to collaborate and get work done.
Beginning today, Teams is available in a free version worldwide in 40 languages. Whether you’re a freelancer, a small business owner, or part of a team inside a large organization, you can start using Teams today.
The free version includes the following for up to 300 people:
Unlimited chat messages and search.
Built-in audio and video calling for individuals, groups, and full team meetups.
10 GB of team file storage plus additional 2 GB per person for personal storage.
Integrated, real-time content creation with Office Online apps, including built-in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
Unlimited app integrations with 140+ business apps to choose from—including Adobe, Evernote, and Trello.
Ability to communicate and collaborate with anyone inside or outside your organization, backed by Microsoft’s secure, global infrastructure.
This new offering provides a powerful introduction to Microsoft 365. Teams in Microsoft 365 includes everything in the free version plus additional storage, enterprise security, and compliance, and it can be used for your whole organization, regardless of size.
As we advance our mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more, what’s most exciting are the stories of customers taking on big projects with a small workforce, such as The Hustle Media Company—who helps movers, shakers, and doers make their dent in the world. Their popular daily email provides their audience with the tech and business news they need to know.
“As a media company that nearly quadrupled in size over the last year, it became apparent we needed a solution to connect all of The Hustle’s offices. As previous Slack users, we found that Microsoft Teams has all the features that other chat-based apps bring, but the teamwork hub allows everything to live in one place.”
—Adam Ryan, vice president of Media at The Hustle
Or, take it from Urban Agriculture Company, a small business specializing in organic, easy-to-use grow kits of vegetables, flowers, and herbs. After landing on Oprah’s favorite things, founder Chad Corzine turned to Microsoft 365 Business and Teams to manage communication among his rapidly growing departments, onboard employees, and protect customer data.
2—Use new intelligent event capabilities in Microsoft 365
Today, we’re also introducing new capabilities that allow anyone in your organization to create live and on-demand events in Microsoft 365. Events can be viewed in real-time or on-demand, with high-definition video and interactive discussion.
AI-powered services enhance the on-demand experience with:
- A speaker timeline, which uses facial detection to identify who is talking, so you can easily jump to a particular speaker in the event.
- Speech-to-text transcription, timecoding, and transcript search, so you can quickly find moments that matter in a recording.
- Closed captions to make the event more accessible to all.
Events can be as simple or as sophisticated as you prefer. You can use webcams, content, and screen sharing for informal presentations, or stream a studio-quality production for more formal events.
3—Leverage analytics to build better collaboration habits
We’re rolling out the preview of a new Workplace Analytics solution, which uses collaboration insights from the Microsoft Graph, to help teams run efficient meetings, create time for focused work, and respect work/life boundaries. Organizations can use aggregate data in Workplace Analytics to identify opportunities for improving collaboration, then share insights and suggest habits to specific teams using MyAnalytics.
We’re also rolling out nudges, powered by MyAnalytics in Microsoft 365, which deliver habit-changing tips in Outlook, such as flagging that you’re emailing coworkers after hours or suggesting you book focused work time for yourself.
4—Work with others on a shared digital canvas with Microsoft Whiteboard
Microsoft Whiteboard is now generally available for Windows 10, coming soon to iOS, and preview on the web. Whether meeting in person or virtually, people need the ability to collaborate in real-time. The new Whiteboard application enables people to ideate, iterate, and work together both in person and remotely, across multiple devices. Using pen, touch, and keyboard, you can jot down notes, create tables and shapes, freeform drawings, and search and insert images from the web.
Whether you’re managing a new project or creating your own business, it helps to have your team behind you to brainstorm ideas, tackle the work together, and have some fun along the way. Take your teamwork to the next level and start using Teams today.