Microsoft Teams, which was first announced in November, is Microsoft’s answer to group chat apps like Slack and HipChat.
Unlike its competitors, Microsoft Teams is embedded in Office 365, which could enable much faster and wider adoption of the platform.
Teams touts threaded messages, cloud service integrations, third party application integration, a bot framework and open APIs so developers can create some of their own offerings. It’s possible Microsoft has added even more capabilities since November, but software community will have to wait until March 14 to find out.
Perhaps most notably, Teams also includes full integration with Office 365, so customers don’t have to pay an extra fee for group chat. But unless things have changed since November, Teams is missing some key features Slack offers, including the vast array of third-party integrations.
Teams is an easy, free option offered by a company that already has enormous inroads into the enterprise space. Competition in the workforce collaboration space has been fierce, however over time, customers will dictate whether simplicity will Trump functionality.
Slack, which recently reported five million daily users, has not been especially supportive of Microsoft’s encroachment in the space. Last month, Slack announced Enterprise Grid, its large enterprise product, perhaps in an effort to take some of the wind out of Microsoft’s impending launch of Teams.
A survey released by Spiceworks in January predicted Microsoft Teams will see the most growth among the leading collaborative chat apps in the next two years, but also found Slack is considered the most innovative chat app.