SMB Tip: Use Microsoft Teams Anywhere

Posted on September 15, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft 365 with 11 Comments

Note: This would normally be a Premium post, but thanks to Microsoft, we are able to offer it to all readers without any roadblocks. –Paul

Before the pandemic, Microsoft Teams was already off to a fast start, with tens of millions of users. But usage varied wildly by age, with older workers generally preferring established tools like Outlook and younger employees embracing the real-time collaboration and communications capabilities in Teams.

COVID-19 changed everything this year, of course. But we can’t just credit the pandemic, at least not solely, with the rapid adoption of Teams in 2020: Instead, Microsoft has rapidly expanded the capabilities of Teams, turning it into a truly extensible platform that meets far more needs than was originally the case. Today, Teams is a ubiquitous dashboard for today’s remote work, and it sits at the center of our workdays and our interactions with teammates and other employees.

As such, you won’t be surprised to discover that there are native Teams clients for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and that Microsoft is further expanding Teams, starting with mobile, to work for personal use.

Less well known, perhaps, is that Microsoft also provides Teams clients for Linux and the web. And that means that you can sign-in to Teams from literally any device, even a shared or public device, and securely access meetings, chats, and other work. The web client supports desktop notifications, and it even works on Chrome OS, though Chromebook users should also examine the Teams app for Android, which is compatible with that platform as well.

The web client can even be useful for those who have installed the native client, too: If you need to access two different commercial accounts, you can use one with the native client and one with the web client. I do this fairly regularly since I have different Microsoft 365 accounts for my employer and my own domain.

Put simply, there’s no excuse not to stay in touch and stay productive and up-to-date with Microsoft Teams.

You’re not yet using a commercial version of Microsoft 365? Then please try a free month of Microsoft 365 Business Standard, which includes access to the Microsoft 365 desktop, mobile, and web apps, and 1 TB of cloud storage, and can be accessed by up to 25 users. And I’ll be writing a lot more about Microsoft 365 this month to help you get started.

Tagged with

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (11)

11 responses to “SMB Tip: Use Microsoft Teams Anywhere”

  1. mestiphal

    The only real reason why my organization transitioned to Teams is because Skype went EOL

    • dannygt

      In reply to Mestiphal:

      Thank God they did, because 1.0 already ran circles around it, or the likes of Slack, etc. Be thankful you're on Teams. You may want to invest in proper training for you and the company, because when you use it correctly, its a game-changer. Sounds like you guys need it.

      • tboggs13

        In reply to dannygt:

        We have 100% transitioned for chat, and about 30% transitioned for voice. We have call reporting needs that Teams does not offer out of the box. Can't wait to be Skype for Business free.

        Teams has been invaluable during this time of remote work. They have also added lots of beneficial new features and if they deliver on what's promised for the rest of the year, I think we won't need to look at other solutions for certain specific needs.

        • Paul Thurrott

          This is kind of goofy, but I literally listened to a Teams-based meeting using just audio in my car and then in the gym.
  2. jaboonday

    One of my favorite Teams features is the ability to transfer a call from one device to another. I've used this quite a few times if I need to dial into a meeting while I'm away from my office. I can initiate the meeting on the Teams app on my mobile, and then I can transfer it to my laptop when I return to my office.

    My company has been using variations of Microsoft Communicator, Microsoft Lync, Skype for Business, WebEx, and AT&T Connect through the years, and now just about everyone has willingly settled into Teams.

  3. nathanh

    This would have been a premium article? Why? A sponsored post it obviously is but it is extremely light on info and opinion for what you claim would have been a premium article. Don't get me wrong, I use and recommend Teams I'm just surprised by your comment.

    • Paul Thurrott

      Because everything that I publish here that isn't a news article, review, or interview is supposed to be segregated as a Premium post.
  4. matsan

    Is this a Microsoft sponsored article? We have been trying to transition our non-profit organization to Teams and it is a complete clusterf**k. As a non-profit we cannot hand out laptops or phones to our members, we rely on BYOD. Unfortunately many of these devices are locked down or already part of another Office 365 organization. Teams may work well if your PRIMARY organization is all-in, but trying to get another Office 365 organization as your SECONDARY team on your device - I wish you best of luck!

    Hindsight is 20/20 but we should have went with separate products (dropbox, slack, confluence and gotomeeting) instead of trying to get this thing working.

  5. mts2148

    The tip about signing in to two different tenants / Teams domains via Desktop app and browser is a lifesaver, particularly since the experience of switching from one to another is kind of bad within the desktop client. I'd add another tip for users who sign in to more than two domains: take advantage of the Profiles feature in Edge and sign in to each tenant in a different profile.

    • Paul Thurrott

      Yep, I use this all the time. Literally just did for a Microsoft briefing.
    • faustxd9

      In reply to mts2148:

      I have been trying to get my coworkers spun up on profiles for a while. They are amazing and much better than "inPrivate" since that does keep some information from the original session. I have three different profiles going to access the same tenant but with different permissions.

  6. BigM72


    your note at the top that “thanks to Microsoft” this post available for all readers rather than just premium subscribers... does that mean this a sponsored article? (Equivalent to what my local newspaper would call an advertorial?)

    • Paul Thurrott

      Yes, but it's not an advetorial. Microsoft did not specify what to write, did not provide any content, and did not review anything before or after it was published. This is a good thing, not an advertisement: Something I was going to write anyway, but we can at least be paid for it and keep the site running. It's all good.
      • BigM72

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Good stuff, I appreciate Microsoft doing this and I appreciate your transparency. :)

        • Paul Thurrott

          Thanks! I know the obvious knee-jerk reaction to something like this, but this stuff is all me with no interference, or oversight, or whatever.
      • Maarek

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Thanks for being up front and transparent, given that they didn't have input or review power on the content, most sites would have probably just put it up without disclaimer (and likely would have been completely ethical to do so) but knowing that you do so when you aren't required to really helps drive home the fact that if something were to require it we would see it (not saying that you would take that kind of advertorial but rather that we can trust we are getting what we think we are). Thanks Paul!