Users of the free version of Microsoft Teams can now create video meetings.
The change, identified by OnMSFT, means that users without Teams can create a group meeting from their account, instead of being able to participate in a meeting created by customers who have a paid account.
The move is likely another attempt by Microsoft to compete with Zoom, the biggest winner of the year video calls and conferences since the global COVID-19 pandemic pushed people into teleworking.
"Meetings in the free version of Microsoft Teams free start on June 2, 2020," Microsoft said.
The Zoom last week it exceeded Wall Street expectations and said it saw an "unprecedented number of free entrants", which the company sees as conversion opportunities to customers who will buy an account in the future. The free version of Zoom allows users to create meetings with others.
Launched in 2017, Microsoft Teams has increased its active users from 44 million in March 2020 to 75 million in April 2020.
Microsoft is struggling with time to meet its potential video conferencing.
Zoom supports up to 49 participants in a video call, while Microsoft Teams currently only supports nine. Microsoft has acknowledged that the number nine is not very good. Some users complained that the presence of only nine visible participants was not enough to host online courses during lockdown, because teachers are trying to put as many people as possible in the video-call.
The possibility of meetings for the free version of Teams will at least give Microsoft the opportunity to take advantage of them users who don't pay now, but may do so sometime in the future.
Microsoft earlier this week allowed interoperability between them Skype for consumers and Microsoft Teams. Emerging windows for chat conversations have also been released.
Users of the free version of Microsoft Teams now have the option to create a meeting from its version browser of Teams or the Teams app. In application, they must click on the meeting icon on the left menu and then click on "Meet now".
After users click "Join now", they can select "Copy meeting link" or "Invite via email" to invite new participants. Alternatively, users can schedule a meeting.