Microsoft has now launched its latest productivity app that aims to take on Slack, aptly named, Microsoft Teams. Incidentally, Slack posted a full-page ad in the New York Times to welcome Microsoft Teams as their direct competitor.
Microsoft Teams is placed as yet another utility app in their Office 365 suite. In short, it’s an app that aims to improve communication among team members, whilst providing full access to Microsoft’s other popular apps like Office and Skype. Precisely speaking, this is exactly where Microsoft tries to gain an edge over Slack. It not only helps business users communicate but also do stuffs like sharing files, photos, meeting plans and even make video calls.
Microsoft Teams apparently looks a lot similar to Slack with that familiar sidebar showing meeting, files, chat and activity notifications. It comes with a feature that even allows you to drop meetings, notes, and project boards directly onto the chat. Yet another interesting feature is the threaded persistent chats that can open or be in private sessions. Besides that, Microsoft is using Exchange integration to provide notifications on Microsoft Teams.
To demonstrate the potential of the Microsoft Teams app, the Redmond giant showed how the app will extend beyond just Microsoft’s own services. One such example is Twitter, which apparently will allow you to push messages from Twitter accounts onto the chat rooms. It’s also integrating the ability to create quick polls and share custom GIFs and memes. Microsoft has also announced they are extending Teams support with open APIs and bot frameworks.
Microsoft is rolling out Skype Teams as a preview to all Office 365 customers starting today. The rollout will spread across 181 countries and will be available in 18 languages. The software giant plans to include Microsoft Teams in all the Office 365 Business and Enterprise Suites starting early 2017.