Microsoft Teams Exploratory: Everything You Need to Know

How about a commitment-free trial run for Microsoft Teams premium?

by Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa
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Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
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Affiliate Disclosure
  • Microsoft Teams has customized pricing plans for different business needs, each requiring a subscription.
  • We found the perfect cost-saving product with a range of features for small to medium-sized businesses.
  • Keep reading to find out your eligibility and other requirements to use this communication tool for free.

In the fast-paced world of powerful collaboration tools that are always undergoing upgrades, it’s hard to stay on top of everything. You might find yourself wondering, what does this new Microsoft Teams have to offer? Is it worth my time?

And because most products require an active subscription, you may miss out on the potential productivity gains. Well, Microsoft is making it worthwhile with its longer-term trial offer, and here’s all you need to know. 

Microsoft Teams Exploratory trial is a new way of enhancing the functionality of the program with the added power of Microsoft apps without subscribing to a Microsoft 365 license.

The idea behind the Teams Exploratory trial is to give users access to Teams and try out new features in a safe environment, test them, and consider getting the license once the trial run is over.

Some of the apps included in the package are:

  • Microsoft Teams
  • Exchange Online (Plan 1)
  • Microsoft Planner
  • Flow for Microsoft 365 or Office 365
  • Microsoft Search
  • Insights by MyAnalytics
  • Microsoft Forms (Plan E1)
  • Office Online
  • Microsoft StaffHub
  • Sway
  • Microsoft Stream for Microsoft 365 and Office 365 E1 SKUs
  • Mobile Device Management for Microsoft 365 or Office 365
  • Office Mobile Apps for Office 365
  • Power Apps for Microsoft 365 or Office 365
  • SharePoint Online (Plan 1)
  • To-Do (Plan 1)
  • Whiteboard (Plan 1)
  • Viva Engage

How do I get a free exploratory license for Teams?

The trick is you must pass the eligibility check first. To get started, you will need:

  • Have an active and managed Azure AD domain email address
  • Be part of a tenant with a paid subscription of at least Office 365 for Business or Enterprise E3 and have been in usage for 30 days and above
  • Not possess an active Teams license
  • Must not be in a tenant where a license assignment policy was created
  • Should not have had a trial license before
  • Not to have a Teams account from a paid license
  • All organizations part of the Syndication Partner Customer or a GCC, GCC High, DoD, or EDU are ineligible

Once you’ve fulfilled the above requirements, proceed to the steps below:

1. Steps for administrators

  1. Navigate to your browser and log in to the Microsoft 365 Admin Center.
  2. Click on Settings then select Org settings.
  3. Navigate to the Services tab and check the Let users start trials on behalf of your organization option.

2. Steps for users

  1. Navigate to your desktop app or web browser and sign in to your Teams account. Remember to use your Azure Active Directory credentials. (Mobiles are not supported).
  2. You’ll be assigned a license automatically, and your organization admin will get a notification.

Remember that once the first user in an organization has signed up, the 12-month period also begins for all other users, regardless of whether they’ve started using it or not.

What are some of the benefits of the Exploratory Trial?

  • You’ll get a fully functional version of Microsoft Teams, and your team can use it for free for up to a 12-month trial period.
  • The exploratory experience gives you a sense of how well Microsoft Teams works with your current hardware and software environment before committing to an upgrade.
  • You can install the software on multiple devices with up to 100 users.
  • Allows for cost-saving as the grace period time frame is enough to cover an entire financial year that would have otherwise been used to try out new products with shorter trial periods.

While Microsoft Teams free offers basic features like file sharing and standard security, businesses need additional services like hosting custom domain email addresses and more cloud storage, among others.

Even when you upgrade to the Teams 2.0 version, the exploratory license is still way ahead as it offers these and more.

What happens when Microsoft Teams exploratory trial expires?

Once your trial period elapses, Microsoft is gracious enough to give you another 30-day grace period, but you will lose access to the Office 365 apps. Thereafter, you have another 30 days, and failure to renew your license within 60 days after the expiration will result in your data being deleted.

It’s a good idea to back up your files if you will not be moving forward with the subscription. The 12-month subscription is more than enough time to test the services offered and make up your mind whether you want to purchase a license.

This puts it way ahead of its other noteworthy competitor Skype. You can check out our comprehensive side-by-side comparison of Teams vs Skype if you’re still not convinced.

Have you gotten to testing the Microsoft Teams Exploratory experience yet? What are your thoughts, and would you consider upgrading your subscription after the trial period? Let us know in the comment section below.

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