Office365

Introduction to Microsoft Teams

What is Microsoft Teams?

Back in November 2016 , Microsoft announced  “Microsoft Teams“- a chat based work space which comes free with your Office 365 subscription. It’s a lot like Slack and is designed to work across multiple platforms (windows desktop, Mac OS, mobile apps for Android ,ios and no mobile app for windows phone yet 😦 )

Which Office 365 plans will have Microsoft Teams?

Business Essentials, Business Premium, Enterprise E1, E3,E4 and E5 . But if you need to try out Microsoft teams you can start with a free Office 365 Business premium trial plan.

What are the main features of Microsoft Teams?
  1. Group chat– This is the core of Microsoft Teams. It allows you to create different teams of individuals and collaborate using Chat or group video calling (just like google hangouts ). Note: When writing this blog video calling is only available using apps (desktop + mobile) and is not available in the online version.

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There are tons of other things in chat feature like smileys,  GIFs , memes etc to ability to send attachment to the team channel.

2. Built using Office 365 groups – Microsoft Teams is built on top of Office 365 groups , so it gives you all the features in Office 365 groups like- a team site with document library for  files, One Note, Connectors, Planner etc. See this webinar by Benjamin Niaulin to understand about Office 365 groups.

3. TabsThis is one of the very useful feature in terms of convenience to collaborate and ability to get to team content very quickly.With tabs you can keep important docs or other applications on top navigation of the channel. Below are the different options available which can be added as a tab.

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Below is an example of a Visual studio team services project added to the Channel as a Tab and the integration is very good. Now I do not have to move to another browser tab to see the board for my project.

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You can also add any word/pdf/excel/ppt as a tab for quick discovery. Another cool feature of Tabs is  Tab conversation. You can start a chat directly from a tab and this is really great feature considering that the conversation is linked to the context/content of that tab.

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4. Bots – All bots created using Microsoft Bot framework can be easily added to Microsoft Teams for 1:1 chat. The only limitation as of now here is that Bots cannot be added to a group chat (Up vote here in user voice if you want this to be changed). See Creating bots for Microsoft Teams. You can use T-Bot to know more about capabilities of Teams once you have your Microsoft Teams ready.

5. Cross Platform Teams App – MS Teams app is available for windows (desktop only), Mac OS, ios and android.

What are the main limitations of Microsoft Teams as of now (2016-12-28)?
  1. Unlike Office 365 groups , Teams does not have option to invite external users. This is currently reported in user voice. Click here to up vote
  2. No support for private channels like slack.
  3. No ability to have public teams within tenant (This option is available for Office 365 groups). Latest update from User Voice is that Microsoft is including this future release.

For other known limitations or improvements  of Teams see user voice for Microsoft Teams

Also to know more about Teams join Microsoft Teams Space in Microsoft Tech Community.

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