Demand for Microsoft Teams has surged to 44 million daily active users, the company said on Thursday, with an additional 12 million users in the past week as workers across the world begin to work from home in response to the spread of COVID-19.

Adoption of Teams has grown swiftly in the past 12 months, reaching 20 million users as recently as November.

The recent increase in home working has occurred as workers across the world self-isolate to slow the spread of the coronavirus, with many businesses requiring staff to work from home. This has led to a huge uptick in demand for video and team chat applications such as Zoom, Slack and Teams. At the same time, various vendors have announced free access to certain collaboration software product features, while Microsoft announced today that all UK National Health Service staff will have free access to Teams.

“The increase in numbers I think makes a lot of sense considering the pivot we have started to see over remote work since February,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at research firm Creative Strategies.

Rising adoption will have a longer-term effect on working practices, Microsoft said as it released the latest user figures for Teams on the third anniversary of the application’s launch, with remote collaboration becoming more commonplace.

Recent use cases include doctors consulting with patients via Teams, Microsoft said, while teachers are using the app to connect with students as schools close in many countries.

“I really do think this is an inflection point, and we’re going to look back and realize this is where it all changed,” said Jared Spataro, corporate vice president of Microsoft 365, in a pre-recorded press briefing. “We’re never going to go back to working the way that we did.”

Teams, which is available at no extra cost for business subscribers of Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud productivity suite, was launched in 2017 and has become Microsoft’s core communication tool, replacing Skype for Business Online. 

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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