Just one week after it launched its latest product offering, the highly creative Surface Studio PC, which highlights the company’s vision to re-position its products to be looked at as more than just productivity enhancing tools, Microsoft, revealed Microsoft teams, an office communication tool which is all set to compete with Industry leader Slack in an announcement on Wednesday.
The new workplace chat tool will be a part of the highly popular Office 365 pack which includes popular office tools like MS Excel and MS Powerpoint. With a base of 85 million active commercial users for Office 365, combining its latest offering with its popular pack does not seem such a bad idea.
The idea behind Microsoft Teams is to provide workplace communication a new dimension by making it a whole lot easier to chat with your office mates with an option to comment on threads and connect via video to each other. Hoping to make it feel more like popular social networks, you can also use stickers and emojis in this newest offering by Microsoft.
Microsoft Teams is all set to roll out in 2017 in multiple plans like Business and Business Essentials and its outreach would transgress nearly 181 countries while also being able to operate in 18 languages. Its direct competitor in this regard would be Slack, which was the first disruptor in workplace communication industry and has around 5.8 million weekly users as of now.
Slack apparently knew about the news and happened to publish a full page ad in NY Times before Microsoft’s announcement which read “Dear Microsoft… We’re genuinely excited to have some competition. We realized a few years ago that the value of switching to Slack was so obvious and the advantages so overwhelming that every business would be using Slack, or “something just like it,” within the decade. It’s validating to see you’ve come around to the same way of thinking.”.
Slack will not only face competition from Microsoft as Facebook has also recently unveiled a similar tool named Workplace, which is almost the same as its site but is designed to work for communication needs.
Microsoft has been working to put together a business that revolves around providing alternating communication services to businesses and workers, its third such move after it bought Yammer for $1.8 billion in 2012 and it’s highly talked about acquisition of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion.