- Microsoft is planning to unveil Microsoft Teams, it’s new intended Slack competitor, at its Office event in New York next week, according to a report from The Verge.
- Previously dubbed Skype Teams, Microsoft Teams will reportedly combine features of Skype, like direct messaging, individual or group video calls, with some new features all-in-one service that users are already familiar with.
- Microsoft Teams even appears to integrate with Skype for video and audio chats, and Office 365 for access to Word, Excel and PowerPoint files.
The new service even looks a lot like Slack, according to those that viewed leaked screen shots. Microsoft has not yet publicly acknowledged it's working on a Slack competitor, but Microsoft employees have been testing the service over the past few months, according to the report.
Given growing interest and investment, the workplace communications space is likely to get much more interesting in the next several months. Tech giants suddenly appear eager to get into the space currently dominated by start-ups.
In April, Slack said it had more than 800,000 paying customers, with corporate users such as NASA and Spotify. But Microsoft has enormous enterprise penetration, so creating their own productivity tool could potentially change things for Slack, which may find it hard to scale its product as easily as Microsoft can. Microsoft previously demonstrated interest in buying Slack, but scrapped plans in favor of building a tool in-house.
Meanwhile, Facebook launched Workplace by Facebook, its enterprise social network, earlier this month. With its broad use as a consumer social network, Facebook has the potential to entirely disrupt the enterprise collaboration and communication market.