One of the most requested features for Microsoft Teams is rolling out starting today, September 11.
Guest access, which allows Office 365 users to add people outside the company to a team, is beginning to roll out to all Office 365 business and education customers.
Microsoft had planned to add Guest Access to Microsoft Teams before the end of June, but ended up not being able to complete the feature by its target date.
Here's how this will work, according to Microsoft's blog post:
"Beginning today, anyone with an Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) account can be added as a guest in Teams. That means anyone with one of the more than 870 million user accounts--across Microsoft commercial cloud services and third-party Azure AD integrated apps--can be added as a guest in Teams. Later, we'll add the ability for anyone with a Microsoft Account (MSA) to be added as a guest in Teams. If the guest doesn't have an existing MSA, they will be directed to create a free account using their current corporate or consumer email address, such as Outlook.com or Gmail.com."
The MSA support is expected "in the next few weeks," a spokesperson said.
In Teams, guest accounts will be managed using Azure Active Directory B2B Collaboration, which Microsoft says will enable "enterprise-grade security," with support for features like conditional access.
Microsoft Teams is Redmond's competitor to the Slack team-collaboration product. Microsoft began rolling out Teams to Office 365 business users in March. (There is no standalone version of Microsoft Teams.)
Microsoft officials said as of today, 125,000 organizations are using Teams in 181 markets and 25 languages. Microsoft also announced today that Botkit, which offers developer tools for building bots for internal or external-facing services, now supports Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft is expected to announce at its upcoming Ignite conference its plan to migrate some of its Skype for Business customers to Microsoft Teams.
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Microsoft looks to be readying a new Skype for Business on-premises server and may soon clairfy how Teams fits into its unified communications business roadmap.
Microsoft won't meet its self-imposed June target for adding Guest Access to Teams. Meanwhile, Redmond is adding more features to Teams for Office 365 Education users.
Microsoft Teams blends the opportunism of the old Microsoft with the openness of the new, but it is not yet able to cut off Slack's viral distribution for a new way of working.