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Microsoft introduces guest access for Teams; leaks possible Skype for Business plans

by Linda Rosencrance
Contributing Writer, MSDW

Microsoft has rolled out guest access for Teams to all Office 365 commercial and education customers. That means that Office 365 users can add people from outside their organizations to teams, so guests can take part in chats, join meetings, collaborate on documents, and more. Additionally, Microsoft launched new developer tools for Teams.

According to Lori Wright, general manager for Microsoft Teams, customers have clamored for guest access since Teams became generally available some six months ago. Microsoft has since worked hard to "get it right," she stated.

Microsoft has designed guest access in Teams with the following principles in mind:

  • Teamwork: Any user with an Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) account can be added as a guest in Teams. Microsoft further plans to enable anyone with a Microsoft Account (MSA) to be added as a guest. A guest without an existing MSA will be directed to create a free account using a current corporate or consumer email address, such as or
  • Security and compliance: Guest accounts are added in Teams and securely managed within Azure AD through Azure AD B2B Collaboration, which, says Wright, enables enterprise-grade security, including conditional access policies for guest user access. If guest access seems like leaving the doors and windows unlocked, Azure AD uses adaptive machine learning algorithms and heuristics to detect anomalies and suspicious incidents, allowing mitigation or remediation actions like multi-factor authentication to be triggered as needed. In addition, Azure AD gives IT departments better insight into the activities of external users in their organizations through detailed sign-in and access reports. "Guest user content and ...

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About Linda Rosencrance

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer/editor in the Boston area. Rosencrance has over 25 years experience as an reporter/investigative reporter, writing for many newspapers in the metropolitan Boston area. Rosencrance has been writing about information technology for the past 16 years.

She has covered a variety of IT subjects, including Microsoft Dynamics, mobile security issues such as data loss prevention, network management, secure mobile app development, privacy, cloud computing, BI, big data, analytics, HR, CRM, ERP, and enterprise IT.

Rosencrance is the author of six true crime books for Kensington Publishing Corp.