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Microsoft Teams for Ubuntu

Introduction to Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams can be described as a proprietary platform for business communication integrated by Microsoft as a part of many products of the Microsoft 365 family. Primarily, Teams completes with the same service Slack, providing workspace chat, application integration, file storage, and video conferencing.

Teams is substituting other collaboration and messaging platforms of Microsoft-operated business including Microsoft classroom and Skype for Business.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft Teams and many other software like Google Meet and Zoom, gained interest because several meetings have switched to a virtual environment. It contains about 250 million users monthly as of 2021.

Microsoft Teams is primarily helpful for remote collaboration as it keeps workers' dispersed teams communicating and connected. Usually, it is deployed around the whole organization and not only within certain departments of the company. Teams could substitute email in some cases for internal organization communication among workers.

History of Microsoft Teams

Microsoft declared Teams in New York at an event and released the service on 14 March 2017 worldwide. It was developed at the time of an internal hackathon at the headquarters of the company, and it is currently directed by Brian MacDonald (vice president of Microsoft corporate). Microsoft Teams is a desktop application (web-based), integrated on the head of the Electron framework using GitHub which consolidates the Node.js JavaScript platform and Chromium rendering engine.

Microsoft bought Parlano and MindAlign (its constant group chat product) on 29 August 2007.

Microsoft had examined $8 billion bidding for Slack on 3 March 2016, but Bill Gates was opposed to the purchase, announcing that the organization should concentrate on developing Skype for Business. EVP of services and applications (Qi Lu) was dominating the push for purchasing Slack. After Lu's departure later the year, Microsoft declared Teams as a Slack competitor on 2 November 2016.

Basic Terminologies of Microsoft Teams

The user interface of Microsoft Teams is the same as other software of team collaboration on the left side of the screen with a team's list. Chat collaboration can take place in the middle of the screen. Most tools of team collaboration use the same Terminology for identifying some specific parts of the user interface.

Some terminologies for Teams are as follows:

Microsoft Teams for Ubuntu

Mentions

All users can make use of mentions for alerting and messaging other users. This terminology uses a symbol, i.e., @ followed by the name of the person. Also, users can @mention whole channels and teams.

Tabs

At the head of all channels are tabs, which connect to services, applications, and files. A few common names of tab include Posts for a message that users have transferred and Files for a document that users have begun in the channel.

Feeds

This activity feed offers the summary of mentions, replies, messages, and other activities that are happening in team channels. It can be refined by unread mentions, messages, and other divisions as well as the own activity of the user.

Threads

A message series establishes a thread. Users responding to any message should choose the option, i.e., Reply rather than establishing a new thread and conversation. Threads could become long as the chat of colleagues back and forth. Also, users can line up video and voice meetings in threads that support facilitating contextual communications.

Chats

Teams permits users for communicating from chats. In teams, chats are constant so users don't need to check the history of a conversation, unlike Skype for business. Teams permits users for formatting text, using emojis, at the time of chats. Users can select for marking a message as important or urgent. Important messages display up along with a red side.

Channels

Members can fix up channels within a team. Channels are the conversation topics that permit team members for communicating without using group SMS (texting) or email. Users can also respond to posts along with text, images, custom-made image macros, and GIFs.

Direct messages permit users for sending private messages to a particular user instead of a group of users. Third-party services and connectors can submit data to a channel. Some connectors are Bing News, PowerBI, Twitter, Facebook Pages, and MailChimp.

Teams

Teams permits groups, teams, or communities for joining from a particular URL or invitation transferred by a team owner or administrator. For education, teams permits teachers and admins for setting up a particular team for staff members, professional learning communities, classes, and everyone.

Calling

The calling feature is facilitated by video conferencing Voice over IP and instant messaging within the client software. Also, teams provides support for public switched telephone network conferencing that is permitting users to call any phone number through the client.

Protocol

Microsoft Teams is based on several Microsoft-specific protocols. Many video conferences are accomplished over the MNP24 protocol, known from the consumer version of Skype. From Skype, the MS-SIP protocol for business is no longer used to connect to the clients of Teams.

The clients of video conference and voice over IP based on H.323 and SIP require unique gateways for connecting to the servers of Microsoft teams. Clients beyond restrictive firewalls and Network address translation can also connect when a peer-to-peer connection is not available using the Interactive Connectivity Establishment.

Education

Microsoft Teams permits teachers to grade, provide feedback, and distribute the assignments of a student turned in by Teams with the help of the Assignments tab, present to office 365 for many subscribers of Education. Also, quizzes can be assigned to any student from development with Office Forms.

Meeting

Several meetings can be created for scheduled ad hoc and users can visit the channel would be able to check that the meeting is in progress currently. Also, Teams contains a plug-in of Microsoft Outlook for inviting others within the Teams meeting. It supports several users that could connect by a meeting link.

Teams Live Events

It substitutes Skype Meeting Broadcast to the capability of users for broadcasting up to 10000 participants on Microsoft Stream, Yammer, or Teams.

Features of Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams for Ubuntu
  • Screen sharing: It is older but the typical capability is a basic feature among the tools of team collaboration. As its name suggests, screen sharing enables every user for sharing the screen of their desktops such as files in real-time during video meetings and Teams calls.
  • File sharing: Remote teams can edit, store, and share files in Team in this document management aspect. Users can also collaborate on a similar document within Teams in real-time.
  • Calendar: Teams, such as Microsoft Outlook email, offers comprehensive calendaring so every user can track their meetings, workweek, and other daily assignments. The Teams and Outlook calendars are hardly Integrated.
  • External collaboration: In Microsoft Teams, the guest access aspect enables users for inviting users outside their enterprises to connect internal channels for file sharing, meetings, and messaging. This capability supports to offer of business-to-business project management.
    Another feature of external collaboration, i.e., Teams Connect which is expected to be available in 2021. It is enabling different organizations to meet, chat, and edit documents in Teams in a shared workspace.
  • Webinars: This feature specifies that Microsoft Teams provides support for interactive webinars and meetings for 1000+ attendees. Many features include host moderation controls and live reactions for disabling the video, audio, and chat of attendees. The webinars of Teams can hold 10,000 users in the view-only broadcast.
    For accommodating several remote users during the COVID-19 pandemic, 20,000 user broadcasts are available from the completion of 2021. The reports of attendees also display who attended the meeting and for how long.

Microsoft can also update the features of the platform quickly and frequently as Teams is a cloud-based software. As a result, the features of Microsoft Teams are evolving constantly.

Integration of Microsoft Teams

  • Microsoft Teams can integrate with other applications in the Office 365 and Microsoft 365 suites such as Word, SharePoint, PowerPoint, OneDrive, and Excel.
  • Also, Teams can integrate with many applications external to the Microsoft domain like Zoom, Cisco Webex Meetings, and Box for extra workplace productivity.
  • App Studio of Microsoft Teams enables businesses and developers to create custom applications that will implement with Teams.
  • Microsoft Teams can integrate with many hardware components in inclusion to software integrations. While videos calls can be done in Teams from laptops and desktops, Microsoft has collaborated with hardware vendors of video conferencing such as Poly, Logitech, and Crestron for integrating Teams with the devices.
  • Microsoft Teams works on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices and systems. Also, it operates in Microsoft Edge, Safari, Firefox, and Chrome web browsers. However, Safari and Firefox web browsers do not support a few of the Teams meeting and calling features.

Pricing Plans of Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams exists for free. However, the free releases aren't a part of the business applications suite of Microsoft. The paid releases of Microsoft Teams provide more advantages and integrations with various Microsoft applications. Many plans of the enterprises and businesses are available. Although, Microsoft uses the brand names of Office 365 and Microsoft 365 for plans that contain Teams.

Microsoft focuses on various industry verticals along with its products.

The vendor notably focuses on the education, frontline workers, and healthcare with Teams. Many government plans are available as well such as Government G5, G3, and Microsoft 365, as are free trials for one-month, non-profit pricing, add-on services.

The more costly plans will contain more benefits as compared to the less costly plans. For instance, the plan, i.e., Office 365 E3 includes more storage at 20 dollars per month, per user and can also contain more participants of meetings as compared to the Business plan of Microsoft 365 at 5 dollars per month, per user.

Additionally, more costly plans will contain many features of calling. However, those features are just present as add-on services in less costly plans. Many compliance and security features will either be available or included as add-on services relying on the payment plan. The more costly plans will contain more advanced features of security.

Security of Microsoft Teams

Microsoft facilitates many features of security in Teams such as single sign-on (short for SSO), two-factor authentication (2FA), and data encryption in transit. The workflows of Teams can take benefit of the security aspects of other integrated applications of Microsoft as well like SharePoint encryption.

The vendor doesn't have access to the uploaded content of the customer according to Microsoft. Customer information stays within the control of the customer and Microsoft doesn't scan teams or content for any purpose which is irrelevant to the service.

Teams contains several features of security which are mentioned as follows:

Microsoft Teams for Ubuntu
  • Advanced Threat Protection: It is also known as ATP in short. Advanced Threat Protection feature is an optional service (cloud-based) and enables enterprises to decide if the content is mischievous in Teams or restrict the content through user access.
  • End-to-end encryption for one-to-one VoIP calls: It is an upcoming option of security for enterprises organizing conscious online conversations. Departments of Information Technology will manage who can apply E2EE service in the enterprise. This feature will present in preview to commercial customers in the initial half of 2021.
  • Private Channels: Private channels can keep track of private conversations among many users within Teams and separate from the larger team. Only members and owners of a private channel can use the channel. If any user requires an area for discussing the conscious information like budgets, then private channels can be very helpful.
  • Safe Links: This feature has been rolled out in March 2021. It supports protecting businesses from mischievous sites if users click any link in the Office application.
  • Meeting Controls: It is an important feature that should increase the management of meetings like invite-only and video options. Disable video will allow an organizer of the meeting to disconnect the video of all or an individual attendee. The feature, i.e., invite-only will send candidates to the lobby of the meeting if they weren't directly invited to that meeting.

Key Points

There are some key points that we should know about Teams. These key points are discussed as follows:

1. Better governance and higher data visibility

Teams provides business leaders greater insight and visibility into work implemented in their organization. As every conversation in Teams is constant, the conversation becomes beneficial assets of information available to the management and governance tools of Microsoft 365.

2. Teams provides secure collaboration, externally and internally

Microsoft Teams provides every security aspect of the Microsoft 365 suite. In Teams, data meets ISO 27001, SOC 2, and SOC1 compliance. It could be planned to meet several strict security standards of industry data. For example, patient data restrictions, i.e., HIPAA in healthcare.

Teams may be secure and locked down, but it does not prevent us from working with external and internal collaborations easily. Our administrator can produce guest accounts in the Admin Center of Microsoft 365 for Teams which is a great way for collaborating on channels on calls with clients, contractors, business partners, or other stakeholders we wish to involve.

3. Teams contains robust integration options of Microsoft Office

Teams is highly integrated with Microsoft 365. Customers can create and handle OneNote, PowerPoint, Excel, and Word files in their channels and operate with other content within the SharePoint sites of their team.

4. Extensive third-party integrations

Microsoft started up Teams for third-party integrations last year. Many providers jumped in quickly, including CalendarHero, Polly, Asana, and ZenDesk. The users of Team can use these applications right in their calendars, channels, and most essentially, during live meetings.







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