This article is part of a larger series on Unified Communications.
The Microsoft Teams vs Zoom Meetings debate is a close one. Both offer free-forever plans, integrations, and high-definition (HD) video conferencing. However, Zoom is virtual conferencing software with robust in-meeting collaboration tools, whereas Microsoft Teams is business collaboration software with conferencing features. The best solution for your business depends on how you need to use the software, your budget, and your desired tools and features.
Based on our comparison, the best use cases for Microsoft Teams vs Zoom Meetings are as follows:
- Microsoft Teams: Better for companies wanting a secure virtual workspace and more budget-friendly paid plans or those wanting video conferencing bundled along with the other Microsoft productivity apps they use for business
- Zoom Meetings: Better for small businesses looking for a free plan with video recording and breakout rooms, companies hosting large video conferences or webinars, and those wanting the most robust video conferencing tools
Microsoft Teams vs Zoom Meetings at a Glance
Starting at $4 per user, per month*
Starting at $14.99 per user, per month**
30-day free trial of Microsoft 365 Business Basic
Ease of Use
720p by default, 1080p available
Maximum Meeting Duration
Video Participant Capacity
Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
Free Version Limits
For More Information
*Pricing is based on Microsoft Teams’ entry-tier plan, Essentials, with annual prepayment.
**Pricing is based on Zoom’s base-level plan, Pro, with monthly payments.
Best for Pricing: Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams Pricing*
Zoom Meetings Pricing**
*Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 subscriptions require annual prepayment. On March 1, 2022, Microsoft 365 Business Basic increases to $6 per user, per month and Microsoft 365 Business Premium will be $22.
**Zoom Meetings prices are based on monthly billing, but you can save 17% by choosing annual billing.
Microsoft Teams is far more budget-friendly than Zoom Meetings. You save more than $10 per user each month for Microsoft Teams Essentials and Business Basic compared to the Zoom Meetings Pro plan. It amounts to a yearly per-user savings of up to more than $100 per user, even factoring in Zoom’s annual discount. This holds true whether your company has nine or 99 employees.
Businesses needing accounts for more than nine users are required to subscribe to the Zoom Business plan for $19.99 per user, per month. This increases the annual cost for 10 employees to $1,999 per year versus $600 for Microsoft Teams. However, Zoom’s higher-priced tier includes several features unavailable in its Free or Pro plan, such as single sign-on (SSO), 300-participant meeting capacity, recording transcripts, and phone support for customer service.
The additional cost for Zoom Meetings may be worth it if you want built-in social media streaming or the option to increase your meeting capacity to 500 or 1,000 people for a one-time fee or monthly add-on subscription. It costs $50 per month for up to 500 participants, or $90 a month if you want capacity for 1,000 attendees.
Zoom also caps cloud storage at 1GB on all but the Enterprise version, with additional storage starting at $40 per 100GB. Microsoft Teams provides 10GB on paid versions, plus an extra 1TB per organization on Microsoft 365 Business Basic. The top-tier $20 Microsoft 365 Business Premium subscription provides 1TB per user. To get a similar cloud capacity, you’ll pay about $166 per TB with Zoom’s add-on packages in addition to the monthly plan costs.
Best Free Plan for Meetings: Zoom Meetings
Both Zoom and Microsoft Teams have robust free-forever versions with a maximum participant capacity of 100. However, Zoom is the better choice if you frequently meet with co-workers and customers one-to-one. Zoom doesn’t meter the duration of conferences between two people, whereas Microsoft Teams imposes a 60-minute time limit.
Zoom also provides more features for group conferences on the free version. You can record meetings locally to your device or server, send participants to waiting rooms, and create up to 50 breakout sessions. Only paid Microsoft Teams subscriptions offer these features. In addition, Zoom lets you highlight or spotlight up to nine participant videos, whereas Microsoft Teams allows seven.
With that said, there are a few reasons you might still prefer Microsoft Teams over Zoom. Free conferences can last 60 minutes in Microsoft Teams vs Zoom Meetings, and the free plan includes 5GB of cloud storage for shared files and media. Zoom doesn’t offer free storage capacity. Microsoft Teams also supports unlimited chat messages and real-time collaboration in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, whereas Zoom allows co-annotation within documents.
Best for Large Video Conferences: Zoom
Although both are on our list of the best video conferencing software, Zoom Meetings makes it easy to connect with larger audiences. For starters, all paid plans include social media streaming, a feature not offered by Microsoft Teams.
Zoom’s social streaming feature enables you to reach a far wider audience without purchasing a separate webinar subscription. It’s also a good choice for occasional large conferences, as you can increase capacity to 500 or 1,000 people with a one-time fee of $50 or $90 (or maintain higher limits indefinitely by paying this every month).
Microsoft Teams and Zoom both allow up to 50 breakout rooms, but Zoom’s increased capacity means you can invite more users per session. The Zoom Meetings Enterprise plan—available to organizations with 50 or more users—comes with Webinar 500. It lets you broadcast virtual presentations to a view-and-listen-only audience. Microsoft Teams Business Standard supports webinars with attendee sign-up pages and confirmation emails.
While not included on the Microsoft Teams pricing page, Microsoft does offer enterprise plans with live event capabilities, including Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 and Office 365 EI, E3, and E5. The subscriptions range from $8 to $57 per user, per month. With one of these subscriptions, you can host conferences with up to 20,000 view-only attendees, at least through June 30, 2022.
Best for Remote Collaboration: Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams earns a top spot for remote teamwork. Your employees can alternate between messaging and videos across various Teams and channels. Business Basic and higher tiers include email hosting for companywide addresses and increase your file transfer limit to 1TB compared to the 512MB included with Zoom Meetings.
“Together” mode is unique to Microsoft Teams and puts video participants into a shared background. It also costs less to access recording transcriptions with Teams—$5 per user with no minimum compared to $19.99 per person with a minimum of 10 people with Zoom. Other tools, like higher cloud storage limits and email hosting turn Microsoft Teams into a unified communications (UC) platform. Employees can communicate via video, email, or chat.
Notably, Microsoft Teams lacks co-annotation during screen sharing. Your team can collaborate on documents, presentations, or spreadsheets, but you can’t mark up a screen together unless using the whiteboard feature. This is slightly more complicated than Zoom’s simple co-annotation feature.
Best for Apps & Integrations: Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams edges out Zoom Meetings for the simple reason that paid plans come with Microsoft Office and productivity suite apps. These apps increase your team’s capabilities without purchasing additional software.
For instance, Microsoft Stream lets your employees upload, share, and view videos in one spot, perfect for onboarding and ongoing training. Yammer functions as a company intranet, allowing teams to update and engage with each other.
At just $12.99 per user, per month, the Standard package provides each user with desktop versions of the office tools and includes the Microsoft Bookings app. Use this platform to schedule appointments, send reminders, and manage staff availability. While Zoom Meetings integrates with Microsoft Outlook and thousands of other productivity, calendar, scheduling, and other business apps, it doesn’t have its own software suite.
Still, when comparing Microsoft Teams vs Zoom Meetings, a few hundred more apps connect to Zoom. If you need a specific integration with a customer relationship management (CRM) software or a scheduling application, you may want to view the app marketplace for both providers before picking one.
Best for Security & Customer Support: Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams and Zoom Meetings both meet or exceed industry security standards. However, we rank Microsoft Teams higher because extra security and support measures are available at a lower cost and without a minimum number of users. In contrast, Zoom locks SSO, the admin portal for user management, and phone support behind its 10-user minimum Business plan tier.
Although Zoom and Microsoft Teams both offer either two-factor or multi-factor authentication, Teams versions enforce it, meaning users can’t toggle the feature on or off. Plus, paid Microsoft Teams plans come with a service-level agreement (SLA) with a guaranteed 99.9% uptime. Zoom doesn’t mention an SLA in its plan comparisons.
If your employees collaborate on or create sensitive documents, Microsoft’s sensitivity labels are a helpful feature. You can add these to protect content based on predefined user permissions.
Many businesses use Microsoft Teams or Zoom because the plans are affordable, and there are plenty of features to support a remote workforce. However, companies looking for an all-in-one unified communications as a service (UCaaS) voice, video, and chat solution, or open application programming interfaces (APIs), may prefer a different tool.
A few Zoom Meetings vs Microsoft Teams alternatives include:
- RingCentral: Add phone capabilities with RingCentral’s voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) platform. It comes with video and audio conferencing, team messaging, file sharing, and on-screen co-annotation capabilities. Learn more about this provider in our expert RingCentral review.
- Rocket.Chat: Choose an open-source team messaging platform for customized workflows. Rocket.Chat offers self-hosted and cloud-based subscriptions with omnichannel messaging and advanced integrations. Find out why it made our list of the best team chat apps for small businesses.
- Google Meet: Start or join a video conference for free using Google Meet. Users can share screens, co-annotate documents, and chat in real time. Paid versions include breakout rooms and polling, making it one of the best Zoom alternatives. Or see how it stacks up to Teams in our head-to-head Google Meet vs Microsoft Teams comparison.
How We Evaluated Microsoft Teams vs Zoom Meetings
Industry leaders Microsoft Teams and Zoom Meetings both offer free plans and paid subscriptions for solopreneurs and small to medium businesses (SMBs) as well as enterprises. But the feature sets and pricing vary greatly.
Our Microsoft Teams vs Zoom Meetings head-to-head comparison rates each tool based on pricing, general features, and collaboration tools. In addition, we assessed how user-friendly each platform is and gave it an expert score for overall value, unique features, and popularity.
Here’s a complete breakdown of the factors used in our review:
- Pricing: We examined the tiered pricing models to determine the monthly and annual cost of Microsoft Teams vs Zoom Meetings. In our comparison, we also looked at the minimum and maximum numbers of licenses supported per plan, length of contracts, and the prices of various add-on features.
- General features: We explored the features available with free and paid plans, including audio and video conferencing limits, in-meeting collaboration tools, and cloud storage. Plus, we considered the types of integrations and apps that come with subscriptions.
- Ease of use: We looked at the process for scheduling and starting a video meeting and navigating the user interface in web browsers and mobile or desktop apps. We also checked out various customer service channels and knowledge bases.
- Distributed teams: We evaluated how the platforms differ regarding remote teamwork and collaboration. We scored tools higher for offering screen sharing, co-annotation, and whiteboards.
- Expert score: We looked at unique or standout features and rated products according to the best overall value for the money. Additionally, we reviewed user ratings and considered the widespread popularity of each platform, as well as our own firsthand experience using the platforms.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which is easier to use: Zoom Meetings or Microsoft Teams?
Zoom Meetings is easier to use because it’s dedicated to video conferencing, and so focuses on video and messaging features. In contrast, Microsoft Teams lets you create multiple Teams and Channels with video and chat capabilities. These additional features mean it could take a few more clicks to do similar tasks. See why both made our list of the best video conferencing software.
Can you use Zoom & Microsoft Teams together?
Yes, your company can integrate and use both Zoom and Microsoft Teams without switching platforms. The integration lets you create a meeting in Teams and view it on your Zoom account. Plus, you can initiate a meeting or join one using either platform.
Is mobile screen sharing supported on Microsoft Teams or Zoom?
Yes, Microsoft Teams and Zoom both allow users to share their screens on iOS and Android phones. Notably, this differs from competitor Google Meet, which only enables screen sharing for desktop users.
Microsoft Teams and Zoom Meeting are top team collaboration and web conferencing platforms that support in-office as well as distributed teams, webinars, messaging, and more. Both provide secure services and mobile apps. However, the software systems each offer have diverse feature sets, from collaboration tools to built-in apps, and have significantly different costs.
When it comes to Microsoft Teams vs Zoom, in most categories we rate Teams higher. It’s more affordable for small teams yet has plans with enterprise-grade features, such as device management and advanced security options. Plus, it can save your business money as Office and productivity apps are included in monthly plans starting at $5 per user. Sign up for a 30-day free trial of Microsoft 365 Business Basic to see if it’s a good fit for your team.