If you use Microsoft Teams daily as part of your work, you are aware that the application only allows you, in principle, to communicate with people inside your company. But things are changing.
Microsoft has just announced the relaxation of the operation of Teams in order to authorize communications with external third parties, even if they only have a personal user account.
This new feature, currently being rolled out, is completely transparent to users. To take advantage of this, simply initiate a new conversation in Teams, then enter the phone number or email address of the external party to start an external search. Once contacted, Teams will show (external) next to their name.
You can then chat with this person as you usually do with your colleagues, without changing anything in Teams. The conversation with this external user is directly integrated into the dedicated tab, in the middle of the other open discussions.
The function, which is supposed to facilitate the work of employees by allowing them to contact their customers more easily, could also allow Microsoft to recruit new users. Because when you invite a contact who does not have a Teams account to join a conversation, Microsoft will automatically send them an SMS or an e-mail inviting them to create a personal account on Teams.
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With the arrival of this new feature, Microsoft could be preparing the ground to offer a universal version of Teams, which will clarify its offer. The Redmond firm currently offers two versions of its Teams application: one dedicated to users with a personal account (Communicate icon in the Windows 11 taskbar), the other reserved for professionals.