Best Video Conferencing Software 2021

Microsoft Teams vs. Zoom

Is Microsoft Teams or Zoom the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select the best video conferencing software for your business.

Video conferencing software is one of the most essential software platforms for any small business. Especially given increasingly remote workplaces, video conferencing software is necessary for businesses to connect live with coworkers and clients.

This article compares two of the foremost video conferencing tools, Microsoft Teams and Zoom. There will be comparisons between the platforms’ features, pricing, and usability. Throughout the article, we’ll provide our expert recommendations to help you pick the best software for you and your team.

Our recommendations are based upon extensive research, discussions with small businesses, and dozens of hours spent hand-testing the leading video conferencing software platforms. Learn more about our research process here.

Microsoft Teams & Zoom Comparison Summary

Microsoft Teams and Zoom were both tested in-house by SoftwarePundit. After testing, Microsoft Teams received a SoftwarePundit Analyst rating of 91, and Zoom received a rating of 92.

Microsoft Teams received a slightly lower rating because hosts cannot set meeting passwords, which is a crucial security measure that almost every other alternative offers.

Zoom received the highest rating in our video conferencing category because it’s the most feature-rich and advanced video conferencing platform that we tested. Zoom’s popularity speaks for itself: the platform has more than 300 million daily active users.

Here’s a breakdown of our review criteria and how Microsoft Teams and Zoom stacked up in each category.

CriteriaAnalyst RatingFeaturesUsabilityPricingCustomer Support
Microsoft Teams9110989

Here are a few quick points to summarize who we recommend each tool for:

You'll prefer Microsoft Teams if:

  • You already use the Office365 suite of software products
  • You don’t need more than 1,000 participants in your webinars
  • You’d prefer a slightly more user-friendly platform

Try Microsoft Teams Today

You'll prefer Zoom if:

  • You would like to lock your meetings with a password
  • You don’t already use Google Workspace or Office365
  • You have a larger budget for a video conferencing platform

Try Zoom Today

Table of Contents

Who Should Purchase Microsoft Teams?

Any business that already utilizes Office365 products should consider Microsoft Teams as their top choice. Because it’s under the same umbrella of tools, Microsoft Teams will integrate seamlessly with every other Microsoft platform, whether that’s Outlook, OneDrive, Exchange, and more.

Microsoft Teams is just slightly more user-friendly than Zoom. The pricing can turn out to be fairly equivalent depending on your plan. However, Microsoft Teams’s webinar functionality is not quite as advanced or varied as Zoom’s.

Who Should Purchase Zoom?

Choose Zoom if you’re looking for the most powerful video conferencing platform on the market. It has the most features of any other tool and is fairly foolproof. It’s very similar to Microsoft Teams, and while it’s a bit less user-friendly, it’s nothing significant that should influence your choice.

However, as we mentioned before, you should choose Microsoft Teams if you already use other Office365 products. Similarly, you should utilize Google Meet if you already use Gmail or Google Workspace.

Microsoft Teams & Zoom Price Comparison

It is difficult to compare pricing between Microsoft Teams and Zoom, because Zoom is priced per license per year and Microsoft Teams is priced per user per month. Therefore, you will need to do a cost comparison based on your number of employees.

Microsoft Teams Pricing Details

Microsoft Teams is entirely free as a standalone product. The paid plans are either $5 per user per month or $12.50 per user per month.

Microsoft Teams
  • Free
  • Free video conference calls
  • 60 minute meeting duration
  • 100 participants allowed
  • Free chat
  • Cloud storage
Microsoft 365 Business Basic
  • $5 per user per month
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Microsoft Exchange
Microsoft 365 Business Standard
  • $12.50 per user per month
  • All Office apps and services
  • Tools available across all devices

Zoom Pricing Details

Like Microsoft Teams, Zoom has an entirely free plan that small businesses can take advantage of, though that plan caps meetings at 40 minutes long. Zoom’s paid plans range from $149.90 per license per year to $240 per license per year.

  • Free
  • Up to 100 participants
  • Unlimited 40-minute meetings
  • Unlimited one-on-one meetings with no time limit
  • Private and group chat
  • Video recording
  • Waiting rooms
Pro Plan
  • $149.90 per license per year
  • Group meetings for up to 30 hours
  • Social media streaming
  • 1GB cloud recording per license
Business Plan
  • $199.90 per license per year
  • Up to 300 participants
  • Single sign-on
  • Recording transcripts
  • Company branding
  • Managed domains
  • Language interpretations
Enterprise Plan
  • $240 per license per year
  • Up to 500 participants
  • Unlimited cloud storage

Microsoft Teams & Zoom Feature Comparison

The two tools are extremely similar in terms of features. They differ slightly regarding participant limits and meeting time limits, and Microsoft Teams is also more flexible and user-friendly.

Microsoft Teams's Top Features

Within Microsoft Teams, you will have a “workspace,” where you can invite all coworkers and collaborators to join one space. From the workspace, you can chat and video call with those already in your network. You can also schedule meetings and invite external participants with a link.

For a deep dive into Microsoft Teams’s features, read our full Microsoft Teams review.

Participant Limits

Microsoft Teams allows for 100 participants to join meetings, which is the same as Zoom’s free plan. Zoom’s paid plans can accommodate up to 1,000 participants in video meetings, though most small businesses will likely not need to have that capability.

In terms of webinar participant limits, Microsoft Teams is not as functional as Zoom. Microsoft Teams webinars can hold 1,000 participants, while Zoom’s can hold up to 10,000. Keep in mind that Zoom’s webinars are much more expensive as well.

Meeting Capabilities

The active meeting view within Microsoft Teams is shown below.

Microsoft Teams Meeting

During a meeting, you can share your screen, raise your hand, chat, turn your camera and microphone on and off, and more. In terms of in-meeting capabilities, Microsoft Teams is essentially the same as Zoom.


Chats that are sent during meetings are saved and can be viewed after the meeting has ended, which is extremely helpful for referencing what happened during the meeting. With most video conferencing tools, the chat will be deleted when the video call ends.

Microsoft Teams Meeting Transcript

Zoom's Top Features

Zoom’s best features are its in-meeting capabilities and add-on features including their webinars. Based on the capabilities of the Pro Plan, which is priced at $149.90 per year or just about $12.50 per month, we recommend it for most small businesses. This price will get you group meetings for up to 30 hours, 100 participants, and 1GB of cloud recording.

If you’d like a more in-depth overview of Zoom’s features, read the full Zoom review.


While pricey, Zoom can support the most advanced webinars of any platform on the market. Depending on your plan, webinars can hold up to 10,000 attendees, where Microsoft Teams only allows for 1,000 participants.

Zoom Meeting

Within Meetings

When attempting to join a Zoom meeting, you’ll be prompted fairly insistently to download the application if you haven’t already. This can be irritating if you’re cutting it close and do not have time to do so before the meeting starts. However, this is not unique to Zoom, and you will have the same issue with Microsoft Teams.

During meetings, your screen will look like this.

Zoom Waiting Room

You’ll be able to view participants, share your screen, chat with the entire group or with individuals, send reactions, and more. If you’re the host and you’ve locked the meeting, you’ll be able to see who is in the waiting room and admit participants one by one.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that both Microsoft Teams and Zoom are high-quality software tools that make it easy to connect with internal and external teams. After testing, we found that you really can’t go wrong with either one. Your choice will come down to your budget and the tools that your business already uses.

As we’ve said before, you should choose Microsoft Teams if you already use other Microsoft products, because it’s the most seamless way to connect your tools together. Otherwise, Zoom is fairly easy to implement and use, and because it’s so popular, chances are that your coworkers and customers already know how the platform works.

  • Choose Microsoft Teams if you already utilize Office365 and are looking for a slightly more user-friendly tool.
  • Pick Zoom if you have a slightly higher budget and want to make use of higher webinar participant limits.

If you’re interested, visit Microsoft Teams or Zoom today to get started.

Katelyn Anderson

Katelyn is a Junior Research Analyst at SoftwarePundit, where she conducts in-depth analyses of technology markets & products and writes software-related content. She graduated summa cum laude with degrees in English and Psychology. Her main areas of interest are content creation, user experience, and search engine optimization. You can connect with Katelyn on LinkedIn.

Katelyn is an expert in several software categories including:

  • Accounting software
  • Integration software
  • Live chat software
  • Vacation rental software
  • Video conferencing software

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