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What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams (MS Teams) is a service that provides video conferencing functionality for meetings, similar to Zoom and Google Meet.

Does Berkeley Lab offer licenses for MS Teams?

MS Teams is not supported at Berkeley Lab, and we do not make licenses available.   

I received a meeting invite from a collaborator who uses MS Teams. Can I join the meeting in MS Teams without a license?

Yes, you can connect to a meeting that is hosted on MS Teams without having a license. You can do so using any of the MS Teams clients, including their web version where you can join without signing in. However, in that case, you won't have access to some of the advanced features such as selecting background, etc. 

If you need to sign in to MS Teams, you can do so using a Microsoft account. A Microsoft account can be created for free and that will allow you to use the free version of MS Teams.

What are alternatives available for video conferencing at Berkeley Lab?

Berkeley Lab IT offers Google Meet and Zoom for video conferencing and online chatting.

Does Berkeley Lab IT provide support for MS Teams?

No, the IT Division does not provide any support for MS Teams.  Berkeley Lab IT supports Google Meet and Zoom as our video conferencing platforms.

Can I host a meeting using MS Teams without a license?

No, you cannot. An account with a valid MS Teams account license is required to host MS Teams meetings. If you need to host a meeting, you should use either Google Meet or Zoom.    If you have collaborators who cannot use these tools or use the workarounds above, please contact [email protected] for support.

What if I need to use MS Teams because I have guests who can't install Zoom on their computer?

If one of your guests cannot install the Zoom client on their computer, you can provide them with Zoom's instructions on how to join your Zoom meeting using a Web browser.  Google Meet is also a good option, as it is completely web-based, with no need to install a client.

What if I need to use MS Teams because I have guests who may be prohibited from using Zoom?

In almost all cases, we have found that external users can use one or both of Zoom or Google Meet. For example, Zoom is the official video conferencing platform of the DOE Office of Science and is permitted for use at all National Labs. Some users may be restricted from installing new applications on their system, in which case they are typically able to use Zoom and/or Google Meet via their browser.


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