Microsoft and Google offer free collaboration tools for enterprises in response to the coronavirus
Google announced yesterday that in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, it will be rolling out free access to its advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities to all global customers. The capabilities include larger participant count for meetings (250 users per call), live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers and the option to record meetings and save them to Google Drive. These features are typically included in the Enterprise edition of G Suite and the Enterprise for Education edition. They are available for no additional cost for Google customers with other G Suite subscriptions until July 1, 2020.
We want to help businesses and schools impacted by COVID-19 stay connected: starting this week, we'll roll out free access to our advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities through July 1, 2020 to all G Suite customers globally. https://t.co/OWWF7s5jjR— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) March 3, 2020
Meanwhile, as Business Insider first reported, Microsoft is now offering a six-month free trial to a premium version of the chat and collaboration app Microsoft Teams to its global customers. Reportedly, on March 10, Microsoft will be rolling out an update to the free version of Teams that will remove restrictions on the number of users in a team and provide the users with the possibility to schedule video calls and conferences.
The two US tech giants have been working to prevent the spread of the disease by cancelling conferences or limiting international travels, and are now providing these free options for collaboration from home, so that people can continue their work and stay connected.