Skip to main content

Microsoft, Google join ranks offering free tools amid coronavirus outbreak

Widescreen version
(Image credit: Image Credit: Photographee.eu / Shutterstock)

Companies that provide remote working tools are lining up to offer their services to businesses for free to minimise the effects of coronavirus in the workplace.

After LogMeIn  and Cisco announced they would give away their tools, Microsoft and Google have now followed suit.

Google says advanced Hangouts Meet features, usually reserved for G Suite and G Suite for Education customers, will be free for all users until June 1.

This means businesses can organise meetings with up to 250 employees and live stream content for as many as 100,000 people, which would usually cost $13 per month per user.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has said the premium tier of its Microsoft Teams collaboration tool will be available as a six-month trial, according to Business Insider

The company also said it would update the free version, allowing users to schedule video calls and conferences, as well as increase the number of people that can join a call.

The coronavirus is believed to have originated in the Chinese province of Wuhan. So far, more than 96,000 have been infected and roughly 3,200 have died.

Latest reports indicate the virus has spread to Europe, with Italy the focal point. There are reported cases in Germany, Austria, Croatia, Spain and the UK.