News Software & Apps Microsoft Teams and Google Hangout Premium Available Free for Now Coronavirus concerns are making more of us work from home by Senior News Editor Rob LeFebvre has been a freelance technology writer for 10 years and an educator for 20. His articles have appeared in 148Apps, Cult of Mac, Engadget, and many others. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Rob LeFebvre Published March 11, 2020 12:56PM EDT Software & Apps Phones Internet & Security Computers Smart & Connected Life Home Theater Software & Apps Social Media Streaming Gaming View More Tweet Share Email Why This Matters Coronavirus concerns have many knowledge workers staying home; having the right tools to collaborate with each other is key. Microsoft and Google would definitely like you to use their specific product while you do so. Microsoft / Google Both Microsoft and Google have made their premium conferencing software available for free to anyone who needs it, for a limited time. Hangouts: Google announced it would be opening up free access to advanced video conferencing features within Hangouts for both Gsuite and Gsuite for Education users. This will allow up to 250 participants per call, live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers within a specific domain, and the ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive. This will remain available until July 1, 2020. Teams: According to The Verge, Microsoft plans to offer a six month free trial of the premium tier for its Teams software (which was originally offered to help schools, businesses, and hospitals in China set up on the platform). Companies will need to work with someone at Microsoft (or a partner) to set this up; it's not easily available for individuals. Microsoft is also planning to lift restrictions on how many users can be added to teams, as well as adding scheduling features. Office Temporarily Shut Down? Here's How to Work From Home Effectively The bottom line: Google has already told its entire North American workforce to work from home, while Microsoft has been encouraging its global employees to do the same. It also makes sense from a business standpoint to offer paid-type access to their respective conferencing suites—enterprise bosses might well convert over to Teams or Hangouts after months of using them with their own workers. Become an Expert on Remote Conferencing What Is Microsoft Teams? Microsoft 365's Productivity App, Explained What Is Google Hangouts?