Microsoft Teams Essentials is a new standalone version for small businesses

Microsoft is creating its first standalone version of Microsoft Teams for small businesses. Microsoft Teams Essentials will be priced at $4 per user per month and provide access to the core meeting features of Teams without the typical Office app bundling that requires a more expensive Microsoft 365 plan. This standalone version makes Teams even more of a Zoom competitor, as Microsoft is dropping its Slack-like channels functionality in favor of a more simplified chat interface and a focus on meetings and video calls.

“It’s the first standalone offering of Microsoft Teams designed specifically with small businesses in mind,” explains Jared Spataro, head of Microsoft 365. “It brings together features small businesses need to serve customers, including unlimited group video calls for up to 30 hours, group chat, file sharing and calendaring.”

Microsoft Teams Essentials fills the gap for smaller businesses that has existed since Teams launched nearly five years ago. Until now, small businesses have had to choose the Microsoft 365 Business Basic plan — priced at $5 per user per month and increasing to $6 in March — or rivals like Zoom, Slack, Google Workspace, and more




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