Microsoft takes on Zoom, offers free video calling on Microsoft Teams

“To help you stay connected in the coming months, you will be able to meet for 24 hours with up to 300 participants until further specified,” said Microsoft.
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Microsoftis rolling out an all-day video calling option that will let Microsoft Teams make free calls for 24 hours, with support for up to 300 participants in one meeting.

“To help you stay connected in the coming months, you will be able to meet for 24 hours with up to 300 participants until further specified,” said Microsoft in a blog.

It also said that along with the all-day free calling feature, Microsoft Teams users will also have the option to include up to 250 participants in a group chat and display 49 members on the screen during virtual chats.

Microsoft added that users can add their personal accounts in the Teams desktop or web app and sync all their chats to their computer. And, apart from the host, recipients with the meeting link don’t need to have a Microsoft account, and can simply join the meeting via a web browser.

Microsoft Teams has been widely used after it was declared free for use in July earlier this year. Recently, CEO Satya Nadella also announced that Microsoft Teams had 115 million active users around the world.

There are several other features the company is working on that are supposed to be launched in the coming few months as video-conferencing is going to remain an essential tool due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

As more people continue to work from home and/or remotely due to the pandemic, video calling apps and platforms have come under the spotlight.

US-based Zoom, which went from 10 million DAUs in December 2019 to 300 million DAUs in April 2020, counts a significant chunk of the new user growth from global markets.

Zoom has a 40-minute limit for free video calls, which has been lifted temporarily. Other platforms such as Google Meet and Cisco Webex also offer limited free video-meetings.

In India, homegrown video conferencing apps include JioMeet, Videomeet, Say Namaste, among others.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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