Microsoft Teams, the enterprise collaboration platform, which has been touted to become the eventual Slack slayer was finally showcased to the Indian professional on Tuesday. The said platform is currently being made available in preview, to a handful of organizations using the commercial version of Office 365. A wider global rollout is expected to happen towards the end of March, as an extension of the Office 365 subscription.
Talking about the platform, Alok Lall, Microsoft Business Group lead for Office Division in India, says,
Office 365 is designed for the work style of every group. Now with Teams, we are not bringing old school chat. Instead what we’re bringing is threaded conversations, a hub for teamwork. There’s no duplication, and all the conversations stored in one place. Plus it gives quick access to all the information being stored, used in Office 365.
As for the platform, the aesthetics and functionality of some features will feel familiar to enterprise users making a switch from Slack. This enterprise-focused app has been developed to enable individuals to collaborate and discuss projects — either publicly or privately. Microsoft Team, the company stresses, is more visible, integrated and accessible by any team. It also provides a persistent, threaded chat window (the same has been added in Slack just recently) that can be spiced up with quirky perks like emojis, GIFs, custom stickers, and memes.
Further, one would also notice other similarities to Slack in each functionality added to Microsoft Teams. There is a familiar chat interface and sidebar which offers access to prominent categories such as groups, files, meetings, chats, and notifications. Though the platform does not pack a crazy amount of integrations like Slack, Microsoft Teams is tightly integrated with Office and Skype. Other integrations will pop up in Teams sooner or later. This is a major differentiating factor for Slack, which currently boasts 1.7 million users.
The Microsoft Teams app, launched back in November, is available on Android, iOS, Windows 10 and a rich browser-based platform. The Redmond giant has also recently shed light on the momentum of the preview for their new service. The platform has already been adopted by 30k organizations, that span across 145 different markets and available in 19 languages. The number of Office 365 monthly active subscribers, on the other hand, has swelled to a hefty 85 million.