Microsoft’s standalone ‘Teams Essentials’ service poses a new challenge to Zoom and other services

Microsoft Teams Essentials fares ahead of Zoom and other software at $4 per user/month. (Microsoft photo)

Microsoft Launch of a new standalone version of Teams for small businesses Wednesday morning, the first paid version of the communication and collaboration service will be available separately from other Office apps and services.

Shares of Zoom Video Communications closed down more than 6% following the Microsoft announcement and RingCentral stock fell 8%, signaling Wall Street is facing a potential threat to those competing services.

Microsoft Teams Basics cost $4 per user/month, with unlimited team meetings that can last up to 30 hours each, up to 300 participants per meeting, and 10GB of cloud storage per user, in addition to customer support, file sharing, tool for assigning tasks, polls, and encrypts data.

Lower pricing entry level paid service $14.99 per user/month from Zoom and “essential” service $19.99 per user/month from RingCentral, as noted by Barron’s in its coverage of the launch.

Microsoft Teams launched in 2017 and has grown significantly during the pandemic. Microsoft said in July that Teams had reached 250 million monthly active users, up from 145 million in April, mainly in business and work settings.

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