It is a rather well-established fact that Microsoft is coming up with a competitor against Slack. That competitor however, which was till date being christened ‘Skype Teams’, has got a name — and official one at that — ‘Microsoft Teams’.
The platform, which essentially does exactly what Slack does, is going live at next week’s Microsoft Office event.
So what exactly is Microsoft Teams ? It a web-powered chat service that’s designed for teams of colleagues or school classes to collaborate. You can create groups, send private messages to team members, send gifs, memes, giphy and all sorts of document sharing. Microsoft will of course take advantage of its multitude of offerings in the enterprise domain, most notably Skype calls.
The platform was originally rumoured to have been given the name ‘Skype Teams’, pretty much hinting that the platform was being designed as an extension to Skype. The new name — ‘Microsoft Teams’ — isn’t just a better name, but will also encompass a lot of other productivity stuff apart from Skype.
Microsoft Teams is expected to have a sidebar that will provide you access to different features such as: the Activity tab for notifications, Chat tab for 1-on-1 conversations, Teams tab to switch between different groups, Meetings tab to hold your daily schedule and lastly, the Files tab that hosts OneDrive integration for seamless file storage and sharing.
The Redmond giant is giving ‘Teams’ additional functionality like Threaded Conversations, a feature that is currently missing from Slack. This allows you to select any particular message and reply to the same at the click of a button, and other can also join the conversation — much like the comments section on Facebook. The service, without doubt, will also feature an Office 365 integration, bringing all the nitty-gritties of Powerpoint, Word, and others to the chat application.
Since the team messaging app was supposed to be using the renowned ‘Skype’ moniker, Microsoft isn’t leaving out any core features of Skype out of the mix. It will bring alongwith, the ability to make video and audio calls in a channel or privately. The app will also provide users with the functionality to set reminders and schedule meetings on the fly — a useful feature for large teams.
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