Microsoft now allows free use of work hub in war on pandemic

Technology firm Microsoft has hired 50 of the targeted 100 engineers at its Africa Development Centre
With Microsoft Teams, users can utilise features like document collaboration, one-on-one chat, team chat, and more. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Technology giant Microsoft is allowing free access to its teamwork hub up to January 2021 to encourage working remotely in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Microsoft Teams, as is called, allows users to invite everyone they work with to chat, meet, call, and collaborate all in one place remotely.

Nine African have confirmed cases of Covid-19 with the Togo and Cameroon being the latest entrants on the list.

“By making Teams available to as many people as possible, we hope that we can support public health and safety by making remote work even easier,” said Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365.

He said the tech firm’s top concern is the well-being of its employees and supporting its customers in dealing with business impact during these challenging times.


Teams (Part of Office 365) is a chat-based collaboration tool that provides global, remote, and dispersed teams with the ability to work together and share information via a common space.

With Microsoft Teams, users can utilise features like document collaboration, one-on-one chat, team chat, and more.

Users can find out how to sign up for Microsoft Teams via Microsoft 365 blog post.

“Microsoft Teams is a part of Office 365, so if your organisation is licensed for Office 365, you already have it,” said Mr Spataro.

Those who are not licensed for Teams, will be logged into the product and automatically receive a free license of Teams that is valid through January 2021.

This includes video meetings for up to 250 participants and Live Events for up to 10,000, recording and screen sharing, along with chat and collaboration.

Kenya is yet to confirm a single case of the viral disease despite numerous false alarms.

In Africa, Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia and South Africa have confirmed cases of the virus that has claimed over 3,800 lives globally.

The deadly virus which originated from Chinese city of Wuhan has spread to 80 other countries hitting hard Italy, Iran and South Korea.

Kenya has been on high alert over the possible outbreak of the deadly disease with 27 cases reported in Africa and Algeria the worst-affected with 17 cases, 16 of them in the same family.