Major collaboration and video conferencing software vendors are now offering products to users for free in response to the spread of the coronavirus. 

Concerns about the COVID-19 virus have led to a boom in remote working, as organizations encourage employees to stay home and a growing number of conferences are cancelled. 

While many companies have seen their stock prices take a battering due to disruption caused by the virus, some software vendors that enable remote work, such as videoconferencing software provider Zoom, have seen their share value climb dramatically.

Although many collaboration and communication providers already offer free — but limited — versions of their software, amid the ongoing crisis many have announced further deals, typically to provide additional paid features at no extra cost.


Google last week said it would start offering advanced Hangouts Meet videoconferencing capabilities to all G Suite and G Suite Education customers at no extra cost. The features, usually available to enterprise tier subscribers, include access to larger meetings of up to 250 participants, live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers in a single domain, and the ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive. 

The move is set to remain in place until July 1. 

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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