Microsoft Teams vs Zoom: Choosing the right solution
Last updated on: April 15, 2022
Microsoft Teams vs Zoom has been a common dilemma for businesses and teams in the past few years. As more teams and organizations are switching to remote or hybrid work models they are looking for reliable tools that can streamline team communication and collaboration. Given that Microsoft Teams and Zoom both offer a wide range of these features, it’s only natural that it usually comes down to deciding between these two popular options.
However, this is where the decision gets tough.
Both video conferencing solutions feature a comprehensive set of functionalities to seamlessly facilitate everything from virtual meetings to presentations and large virtual events.
So, how does one decide between the two?
In this blog post, we will help you get a more clear understanding of how the two leading video conferencing apps respond to particular communication and collaboration needs.
We’ll compare the two apps in terms of:
- User interface
- Max participant capacity
- Meeting length
- Audio and video call settings and reactions
- Cloud storage
You can check out the overview below for a quick look at how the two apps compare in each category.
Or, if you’d like a more in-depth comparison, read the blog post to find out what tool perfectly suits your team’s needs.
Microsoft Teams vs Zoom overview
Zoom and Microsoft Teams are two of the most popular video conferencing services offering extensive collaboration and communication functionality for remote and hybrid teams. In addition, both apps feature solid options for running large virtual events.
Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based platform for communication and collaboration. First released in 2017 within the Microsoft 365 suite of applications, Microsoft Teams’ strongest suits are robust video conferencing capability and a great feature-price ratio.
With a full set of options for business messaging, file sharing, and audio and video conferencing, Microsoft Teams is an all-in-one collaboration and communication hub best suited for corporations and organizations that want to streamline different operations and tasks. It currently counts over 270 million monthly active users.
Zoom is primarily a video conferencing cloud-based tool best known for its straightforward user interface. The app dominates the video conferencing field with over 200 million daily active users. Popular with workplaces and individual users alike, Zoom also features great participant capacity and a robust list of third-party integrations.
Here’s a side-by-side overview of the apps’ main features.
|Pricing||$0 to $12.50 user/month||$0 to $19.99month/license|
|Max participant capacity||1,000||1,000|
|Meeting length||– 24 hours max|
– 60 minutes in the free plan
|– 30 hours max|
– 40 minutes in the free plan
|Communication||– screen sharing|
– recording meetings (on paid plans)
– group and individual messages during a call
– live meeting transcription (on paid plans)
– breakout rooms
|– screen sharing|
– recording meetings (on all plans)
– group and individual messages during a call
– live meeting transcription (on paid plans)
– breakout rooms
|Audio and video call settings and reactions||– joining restrictions|
– hand raising
– emoji reactions
|– joining restrictions |
– hand raising
– emoji reactions
|Cloud storage||starting from 10GB per user||starting from 1GB per license|
|Support||24/7 support (on paid plans)||24/7 support (on paid plans)|
|Security||– solid system security|
– no self-hosting option
|– questionable security|
– limited self-hosting option
For a more detailed Microsoft Teams vs Zoom comparison, keep on reading.
💵 Microsoft Teams vs Zoom pricing 1:0
Microsoft Teams wins the first round straightaway.
In the free plan, Microsoft Teams features 60-minute calls for up to 100 participants with a generous 5GB of cloud storage, file sharing, polling, and noise suppression.
Zoom’s only advantage is that it offers breakout rooms and filters for free, but it still limits free group meetings to 40 minutes, and it doesn’t offer any cloud storage.
Paid plans offer a slightly more level playing field, although Microsoft Teams’ plans are considerably more reasonably priced.
Microsoft Teams Essentials plan comes at only $4 per user per month and it lets you host 30-hour-long meetings with up to 300 participants. It also allows 10GB of cloud storage per user. Still, you can’t record meetings, use transcripts, or breakout rooms in this Microsoft Teams plan.
In comparison, Zoom’s cheapest plan costs a whopping $14.99 and it basically offers the same functionality as Microsoft Teams — in some instances even less. Although it offers breakout rooms and meeting recording, it limits the number of participants to 100, with only 1GB of cloud storage available per license.
The trend continues across two out of three paid plans, with Microsoft Teams offering more functionality for a smaller price.
For example, the Microsoft 365 Business Basic plan members get more security, additional productivity apps and features, cloud storage upgrade of 1TB per user for $6.
In Zoom, you’ll need to pay $19.99 for the Business plan that lets you host up to 300 participants, but there’s no upgrade from the 1GB of cloud storage you get in the previous plan.
It’s important to note that Microsoft Teams requires an annual subscription on all paid plans. But there’s a 30-day free trial for all paid plans, so you can test everything before you commit.
|Pricing plans||Microsoft Teams||Zoom|
|Cheapest paid plan||$4||$14.99|
📱 Microsoft Teams vs Zoom interface 1:1
Although it’s often a matter of personal preference, most users prefer a simple and clean interface. Regardless if you’re tech-savvy or not, you’d want an easy-to-navigate interface, especially in an app or a platform you use frequently to streamline your team collaboration and communication.
Both Microsoft Teams and Zoom feature a similar design.
Microsoft Teams manages to combine chat, video conferencing, and other Microsoft 365 collaboration and productivity tools in a single dashboard. It can be overwhelming for first-time users to learn how to navigate through multiple options, however, it’s all neatly organized in a clean layout.
On the other hand, Zoom is well known for its simple interface and ease of use, but it also lacks some of Teams’ features.
Zoom features a sizable gallery of the virtual image and video backgrounds with great customization options that include filters for appearance and lighting. Teams also includes solid options for premade and custom virtual backgrounds.
Both apps offer equal video quality of HD 1080p. However, Microsoft Teams enables it by default, whereas in Zoom HD 720p is the default quality, and you can manually change it to HD 1080p.
Zoom and Microsoft Teams both include tiled layout and other useful options to customize your meeting view. Both support a large gallery view and options to pin and spotlight individual participants in meetings.
Together mode in Microsoft Teams allows remote teams and organizations to feel more connected. The feature deletes the boxed layout making it look like people occupy the same physical space.
Overall, Zoom has a better reputation for allowing straightforward access, whereas Microsoft Teams is no stranger to bugs, especially in the web version of the app.
Still, it’s impossible to pick a winner in this round as both apps feature intuitive and user-friendly interfaces.
👥 Microsoft Teams vs Zoom max participant capacity 1:1
When it comes to maximum participant capacity across plans, again we can notice a similar pattern with both services.
Free members in both Microsoft Teams and Zoom can host group meetings for up to 100 participants, which is perfect for smaller and mid-size teams on a tight budget.
In paid plans, you can host up to 300 in regular and up to 500 in Enterprise plans in both apps.
If you need to host larger audiences, in Zoom you’ll have to pay for a Large Meeting add-on to make it happen. For a starting price of $600 per year, you can extend your meeting participants to up to 1,000.
Enterprise plan members in Microsoft Teams can organize meetings for a maximum of 1,000 participants. If you still need more participant capacity, Microsoft Teams has the option to expand to more members with view-only permissions.
Both services support live streaming sessions for events with up to 100,000 attendees in Enterprise plans.
|Max participant capacity||Microsoft Teams||Zoom|
|Max participants in the free plan||100||100|
|Max participants in paid plans||1,000||1,000 (via add-on)|
Overall, both services allow users to host all-size meetings and create an inclusive collaboration experience for people inside and outside their organization.
⏳ Microsoft Teams vs Zoom meeting length 1:0
Limited meeting duration might be a deal-breaker for larger teams and organizations. Restarting a meeting after you’ve been cut off mid-sentence is detrimental to productivity, in addition to making you look unprofessional in front of clients. So, let’s see how Microsoft Teams and Zoom have handled this.
At a first glance, the time limits placed on calls are restrictive in both services.
However, Microsoft Teams has the upper hand in this category.
In Microsoft Teams you can host group meetings of up to 60 minutes for free, whereas Zoom limits free meetings to only 40 minutes. This is probably one of the biggest drawbacks of Zoom, as most virtual meetings or lessons take approximately 45 minutes up to one hour. Of course, you can start the meeting again, but for most teams, this is a considerable time waster that takes away from productivity.
In paid plans, both services offer a generous, uninterrupted group meeting experience. Paid plan members can take 30-hour long group meetings in both Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
And, while Zoom lets you have unlimited one-to-one meetings in all plans, Microsoft Teams allows free 30-hour meetings for a limited time.
|Meeting length||Microsoft Teams||Zoom|
|Group meeting length in the free plan||60 minutes||40 minutes|
|Group meeting length in paid plans||30 hours||30 hours|
Although both apps offer similar meeting length across all plans, Microsoft Teams takes the win in this round thanks to a more generous free offer.
👩💻 Microsoft Teams vs Zoom communication 0:1
There’s a significant overlap between Microsoft Teams and Zoom in terms of communication functionality.
Both apps offer:
- Audio and video conferencing
- Meeting recording
- Screen and file sharing
However, the options vary significantly depending on plans, with Zoom going the extra mile across multiple plans and features.
For instance, in Zoom, video recording is available for free, while Microsoft Teams require a paid subscription for this feature.
Screen sharing is also available in both apps, however, Zoom has a slight edge by letting multiple users share their screens simultaneously.
Both Microsoft Teams and Zoom offer another useful option for larger teams — breakout rooms. Still, Zoom lets you have up to 50 different sessions for free, while in Microsoft Teams this option is available only in paid plans.
Conversely, Microsoft Teams lets you create polls in the free plan, whereas in Zoom you have to upgrade to a paid plan for this option.
In addition to core video conferencing functionality, Microsoft Teams and Zoom both offer a set of advanced features aimed at boosting productivity and improving the collaboration experience for the users.
Here’s how Microsoft Teams and Zoom compare in terms of extra features:
- Transcription is available in both services on paid plans
- Whiteboard option — Available for free in both services
- Live captions — Automatic in Microsoft Teams with 28 language options, Zoom requires manual captioning
That being said, Zoom lacks Teams’ advanced chat features with channels, notification management, and sophisticated search. Therefore, if you’re looking for elaborate chat functionality, Microsoft Teams may be more up your alley.
|Video recording||Only in paid plans||Available across all plans|
|Screen sharing||Yes||Yes (available for multiple users simultaneously)|
|Share messages and files||Public, group, or direct messages and files||Public, group, or direct messages and files|
|Breakout rooms||Only in paid plans||Available across all plans|
✋ Microsoft Teams vs Zoom settings and reactions 1:1
Optimum audio and video settings, as well as live reactions, are an integral part of the virtual video conferencing experience. In addition to facilitating more effective collaboration and feedback, these features also ensure maximum productivity.
This category is another round in the Microsoft Teams vs Zoom comparison with no clear winner.
Both apps allow hosts to control audio and video settings for meetings.
In Microsoft Teams, hosts can control who can see what during meetings. For example, you can allow attendees to only see shared content and only video of people who are spotlighted by you.
In both apps, hosts can allow or disallow cameras and microphones for participants, which comes in handy when you want to optimize effectiveness during larger meetings.
In Microsoft Teams live reactions are available when you use filters and backgrounds and in breakout rooms, but not in together mode or the large gallery view.
In Zoom, emoji reactions disappear after 10 seconds while raise hand and other nonverbal feedback reactions (Yes, No, Speed up, Slow down) remain active until the participant or the host manually removes them.
|Settings and reactions||Microsoft Teams||Zoom|
|Audio and video call settings||Advanced||Advanced|
|Emoji reactions in different colors||Yes||Yes|
On the whole, both Microsoft Teams and Zoom allow you to tailor your meeting experience to suit your teams’ preferences and productivity best practices.
☁️ Microsoft Teams vs Zoom cloud storage 1:0
Let’s face it — Zoom never stood a chance against Microsoft Teams in this category.
With a generous cloud storage offer that starts from 5GB per user in the free plan, Microsoft Teams takes the win in this round.
Moreover, you can have up to 1TB of cloud storage per user for your meeting recordings if you decide to upgrade to one of Teams’ paid plans.
Zoom, on the other hand, doesn’t include any cloud storage in the free plan. Unfortunately, this scenario is present across two of its paid plans as well — with users getting very limited storage of 1GB per license for a rather high price. Only the Enterprise plan in Zoom features unlimited cloud storage for users to store meeting recordings and files.
|Cloud storage||Microsoft Teams||Zoom|
|Free cloud storage||5GB per user||Only local|
|Cloud storage in paid plans||10GB to 1TB per user||1GB per license to unlimited|
Although Zoom tried its best to compensate for the lack of substantial storage space in its highest-priced plan, Microsoft Teams still offers more reasonable storage options consistently throughout all plans, which secures its win in this round.
🖇️ Microsoft Teams vs Zoom integrations 0:1
If we take a look at the numbers alone, it’s clear that Zoom takes the win in this round.
With over 1500 integrations with leading apps across a wide range of categories, Zoom can empower teams of all sizes and industries in creating a dynamic workspace experience.
Although Microsoft Teams offers only 700+ third-party app integrations, it’s important to note that it comes within a powerful Microsoft 365 Business suite of applications that include Outlook, Access, Publisher, SharePoint Online, Yammer, Planner, Stream, and Microsoft Bookings. This makes it particularly convenient to streamline all of your processes and workflows from a single dashboard. For example, you can schedule your meetings in Teams via your Outlook calendar.
Apart from the Microsoft apps, Teams also integrates with a wide range of leading third-party apps. From Trello and Asana to MailChimp and Jira Cloud, Teams feature an extensive third-party app directory to help you maximize your productivity in a remote, hybrid, or in-office setting.
|Number of integrations||700+ integrations with leading apps||1,500+ integrations with leading apps|
ℹ️ Microsoft Teams vs Zoom support 1:1
Microsoft Teams and Zoom both have extensive knowledge base resources where users can get practical guidance and answers to most of their questions. They both feature video tutorials and allow users to discuss their issues and share experiences in community forums.
Microsoft Teams offers phone and web support around the clock in all paid plans. In addition, it features an extensive knowledge base with useful tips and videos, community forums, and other resources.
Zoom also allows for a detailed knowledge library including
- Help Center
- Live training
- How-to videos
Support in Zoom follows the same pattern with the Help Center in the free plan, and the 24/7 support in the paid plans. The Pro plan users have ticket and live chat support available. The Business and Enterprise plans upgrade your support to ticket, live chat, and phone.
🔐 Microsoft Teams vs Zoom security 1:0
Reliability and security are some of the key aspects to look for in the communication and collaboration tools you’re using. Data encryption, admin controls, and compliance with security policies and standards are all paramount to keeping your conversations private and your collaborative experience safe.
Microsoft Teams has a slight edge over Zoom in this category, for several reasons.
Firstly, Zoom still has to recover from the bad reputation it suffered at the beginning of the pandemic. We all still remember issues with Zoombombers and encryption algorithm vulnerability in 2020. Although they have addressed these issues and added new security features and layers of protection, it may still take some time to completely recover from those incidents.
Currently, Zoom features 256-bit TLS and AES-256 encryption, optional end-to-end encryption, additional layers of verification, and improvements to the waiting rooms for better control of who can join.
Still, Microsoft Teams is backed by Microsoft’s advanced security that includes:
- Two-factor authentication on all plans
- GDPR and ISO/IEC 27001 compliance
- End-to-end encryption
- Admin controls
Probably the greatest security downside with both services is the lack of a fully self-hosted solution. Zoom does offer a self-hosted solution, however, it still locates all user and metadata management in the Zoom public cloud.
💡 Pumble Pro Tip
Want to learn more about the importance of data security in collaboration tools? Check out our ultimate guide on the subject:
🏆Microsoft Teams vs Zoom Verdict 8:6
In the Microsoft Teams vs Zoom competition, Microsoft Teams is our ultimate winner with 8:6 in the final result.
While Zoom is widely recognized for its user-friendly interface and an extensive list of integrations, it still can’t beat the all-encompassing collaboration functionality Microsoft Teams offers.
|Max participant capacity||1||1|
|Audio and video call settings and reactions||1||1|
However, this doesn’t mean you should rule out Zoom from the equation entirely. Apart from being the most popular solution on the market, Zoom offers excellent video conferencing functionality for individual users and teams alike.
Microsoft Teams, on the other hand, may have more appeal to larger teams due to its affordable pricing plans and excellent security. And, it has the entire Microsoft 365 platform on its side as an advantage many users would find crucial when making the decision.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. Hopefully, this article has given you enough information to help you weigh the pros and cons of both apps and make a decision that best resonates with your unique needs.
💡 For a great Zoom and Microsoft Teams alternative, check out Pumble, as it offers:
- Unlimited users and message history for free,
- A user-friendly interface with an abundance of features, and
- A self-hosting solution.
So, sign up for a free Pumble account now and check out for yourself!