- Microsoft kicked off its annual Ignite conference with communication platform Teams taking center stage. Teams is now used in 329,000 organizations, according to a company announcement. By comparison, in March, Teams' one year anniversary, the platform was in 200,000 organizations.
- The company rolled out a slew of new Teams features including blurring backgrounds during video conferencing, meeting recording options and partnerships with Polycom, BlueJeans and Pexip to bring room for technology investments into Teams. The partnerships will lend themselves to content sharing in Teams meetings.
- In August, Microsoft formally listed Slack as an Office competitor in its 10-K report. Other competitors with communication platforms, including Facebook and Google, are also listed.
While it's unknown how many individual users are on Teams, Slack still has one of the largest implementations in organizations. Known as one of the original business communication platforms on the market, Slack is used in more than 500,000 organizations, according to the company.
Though Teams is one of the many apps featured on Office 365, the platform is becoming a heavy focus for Microsoft and for good reason. Microsoft is inching closer to the lead every month after launching just over a year and a half ago.
The most surprising takeaway from Ignite this year was using Teams as a heavy part of its introductions, said Craig Roth, research VP for Technology and Service Providers, at Gartner. "The amount of weight [Microsoft] put behind that arrow is impressive," he said.
Though professionals in the technical landscape, like programmers, prefer the Slack experience, Microsoft has a hold on general enterprise users, according to Roth. Because of the reach of Office 365 in businesses, customers are "eventually going to click on everything in the suite."
Teams is easily accessible for businesses who already use Office, the platform has become the fastest growing application in Microsoft's history, according to the company itself. Microsoft still has to compete with the features offered by Slack, Google and Facebook that captivate their own customers.