Microsoft Teams has a new ad, and it’s all about security. As the rapidly rising Zoom struggles with safety, the Office 365 creator has clearly upped its data protection rhetoric.
Last week, the company published a timely blog post about how its app prevents users from outside an organization from jumping in. A clear reference to “Zoombombing”, though Microsoft didn’t mention its competitor by name. The ad follows the same principles, highlighting Teams’ use in industries where data protection is vital without calling out Zoom specifically.
In it, Microsoft highlights its software’s role in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Teams calls from healthcare workers, police, universities, researchers, and companies praising the software. There’s nothing overtly security-related, but the implication is clearly there. At the end of the video, it lingers on the splash screen, highlighting the slogan “Safe, Secure, Free”.
The tech giant’s ability to make this video is thanks largely to its offer of free premium functionality during the crisis. It has also provided its app for free to the UK’s NHS and is helping out with research and anti-misinformation efforts. While it can feel a little cheap to use a global crisis to promote a product, Microsoft is providing a lot of value out of its own pocket and wouldn’t want to pass up such a clear example of its mission statement.
Meanwhile, Microsoft Teams is trying to close the areas where Zoom has an advantage. Until recently, Teams only supported four video feeds of conference members at any one time, versus Zoom’s 42. Earlier in the week, it pushed that number to nine and has plans to further increase it.
Unfortunately, all this is coming as the service sees a monumental increase in users. Microsoft has had to tone down things like video quality just to keep things running after several outages. As Zoom rushes to fix its security holes, its competitor is fighting demand to reach feature parity.