Microsoft Teams 1.4Free
Now that remote work, remote learning, and getting in touch with family and friends online is becoming more and more common (and, at times, necessary), tools like Microsoft Teams make it easier for anyone to chat with their contacts, hold online meetings, and organize and manage different teams of co-workers remotely. It puts in your hands the quality inherent to all Microsoft products with controls and functions that are easy to use, even for those with advanced accessibility requirements.
Even though Microsoft Teams is clearly oriented to the enterprise world, you can also use this powerful tool simply to contact friends, family, learning partners, etc., so your world doesn’t stop at times when meeting up face to face is not convenient or safe. Actually, the free version of this tool has been explicitly devised for home use – if you or the company you work for want to make use of its full potential for business, a license fee is required.
The program has been designed to hide its powerful functionality behind the simplest of interfaces. A vertical menu on the left-hand side of the screen includes icons for Teams’ main functions – chatting, creating and managing teams (or just groups), a calendar, making calls (with both audio and video), and a place to download, send, share, and store documents. An “Activity” icon is also provided to give you an overview of all your current and past activities.
Both chatting and meeting up with people online – via video, audio, or both – are probably the two most popular and widely used of its various tools. Setting up online meetings with more than one person is a very simple task to do, especially if you have organized your contacts into different groups (or ‘teams’) beforehand. As soon as you set up a new call, every member of that group will get a message with the instructions required to join, either immediately or on a given date and time in the future. Video calls can be recorded, and you can also chat to all or to specific members of the group while on the call.
Microsoft Teams comes with utilities that you may find not that useful for standard home use, as well as with a terminology that seems to be more suitable for a business environment, and that might well be one of the reasons why users tend to think that this tool is just good for remote work and other professional activities. Personally, I don’t see any problem in benefitting from the professional and robust design of this Microsoft tool to make my personal calls to family and friends. Making it look more casual wouldn’t necessarily make it a better tool for home users. I can only recommend you download the home free edition and try it a few times – you’ll be surprised.
- Offers a robust environment for secure remote communications
- Record your video and audio chats
- Share files and documents
- Organize your conctacts into 'teams'
- Includes accessibility options for persons with disabilities
- Clearly oriented to remote business activities, home users may find it too "professional"