Atlassian finally unleashes free Jira tier – nearly six months late yet just in time for coronavirus crunch

Still, could be worse, Bono might starting singing about COVID-19. Oh

Kindly old Atlassian is making cloud-based versions of Jira Software, Confluence, Jira Service Desk, and Jira Core free for teams of up to ten people.

Register readers suffering from a jolt of déjà vu might recall the Australian outfit announcing something remarkably similar last September with the free tier due within the month, according to Atlassian VP Harsh Jawharkar.

As it transpired, the arrival of the free tier was staggered. "Until today," a spokesperson told us this week, "fewer than 10 per cent of all visitors to our website were able to access Free plans as we took a gradual approach to rolling these out."

And on Wednesday, as familiar workplaces continue to be shuttered, Atlassian has decided to turn the taps on with General Availability to all.

The inflicting of Jira on potentially more people comes as companies adjust to the realities of remote working. Brainstorming on whiteboards and walls festooned with multi-coloured post-it notes (depending on which flavour of agile methodology has been spoonfed to managers) are not so simple once social distancing is factored in or offices are closed.

As such, Atlassian, which booked $409m in revenue for last quarter, Q2 of fiscal 2020 [PDF], is keen to help and get newly scattered customers onboard the Jira train to the cloud. So long as there are no more than ten people per team.

Microsoft, on the other hand, has removed the user limits on the free tier of its collaboration platform, Teams. Sadly, things went a bit wobbly over the subsequent days.

Atlassian's Trello already features unlimited users, but the rest of its products, such as BitBucket and Opsgenie, are limited. In the case of the latter two, up to five users are permitted, which makes the Jira tier seem positively generous in comparison.

Explaining that "Unprecedented events are rapidly changing the way teams are working together," Atlassian went so far as to set up a website to help those waking up to a new working world adjust to remote life. Others might raise an eyebrow at the timing. After all, this was all originally announced last year.

Still, even with the limits, free is always good. And after all - things could be worse. U2 frontman Bono might have sung a ballad or something about the virus outbreak.

Oh, God, no. Are people not suffering enough? ®

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