Microsoft Debuts 'Teams' Chat-Based Workspace and Slack Competitor

Wednesday November 2, 2016 9:50 AM PDT by Juli Clover

Microsoft today debuted its latest product, Microsoft Teams, which is a chat-based workspace designed for Office 365 users.

Designed to compete with chat platforms like Slack and HipChat, Microsoft Teams provides a chat interface that integrates with Office 365 apps and services and other third-party services like Zendesk, Asana, Hootsuite, and Intercom.

microsoftteams
According to Microsoft, Teams is designed to provide a "modern conversation experience" in the workplace. It supports both persistent and threaded chats, along with public and private conversations. Skype integration allows teams to quickly initiate voice and video conferences, and each digital workspace can be highly customized with emoji, stickers, GIFs, extensions, open APIs, and more.

At Microsoft, we are deeply committed to the mission of helping people and organizations achieve more--and reinventing productivity for the cloud and mobile world is core to our ambition. We built Microsoft Teams because we see both tremendous opportunity and tremendous change in how people and teams get work done.

Teams are now more agile and organizational structures more flat to keep communications and information flowing. With Microsoft Teams, we aspire to create a more open, digital environment that makes work visible, integrated and accessible--across the team--so everyone can stay in the know.

Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, Power BI, and Delve are built into Microsoft Teams, and it supports Microsoft's cross-application membership program, Office 365 Groups, so people can easily move from conversations to collaborating on documents.

Microsoft Teams is designed for Microsoft's enterprise customers, and it includes enterprise-level security with two-factor authentication, single sign on through Active Directory, and data encryption. Teams is available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and the web.

Ahead of Microsoft's announcement, competing chat platform Slack took out a full page ad in the New York Times welcoming Microsoft to the chat space, offering some "friendly advice," and signaling that it's worried about competition from Microsoft.

In the piece that ends with a warning that "Slack is here to stay," Slack says an open platform, love, and thoughtfulness and craftsmanship are essential to a successful communication product.

One final point: Slack is here to stay. We are where work happens for millions of people around the world.

So welcome, Microsoft, to the revolution. We're glad you're going to be helping us define this new product category. We admire many of your achievements and know you'll be a worthy competitor. We're sure you're going to come up with a couple of new ideas on your own too. And we'll be right there, ready.

A preview of Microsoft Teams is available in 181 countries and 18 languages starting today for Office 365 enterprise customers (Business Essentials, Business Premium, El, E3, and E5). It will officially launch early next year.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
45 months ago

Source?

What Soupcan said is a crock (see what I did there?).

It is all encrypted and Microsoft cannot read it.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago
Meanwhile, other companies have similar features without requiring subscription.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago

Microsoft has so much money it doesn't make sense to buy out the better product so they just keep making multiple versions of Skype. +1 idiots

Was thinking this myself. Awesome, a new chat platform that Micro$oft will forget about and leave to rot just like Skype for Business and Yammer.

What really sucks is nothing integrates with AD as well as M$ products and this prevents a lot of IT departments from using anything else.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago
Anything is better than Lync.

ANYTHING.

Please send help. We still use Lync at work!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago
Microsoft has so much money it doesn't make sense to buy out the better product so they just keep making multiple versions of Skype. +1 idiots
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago

What Soupcan said is a crock (see what I did there?).

It is all encrypted and Microsoft cannot read it.

Maybe they won't read it, but there's no guarantee that they can't. Same with Slack.
[doublepost=1478118073][/doublepost]I use Slack for work, and I don't like it. You'd think a simple messaging application inspired by IRC would be 100% problem-free by now, but it still has so many performance issues and user interface quirks. The worst one is that the iOS app (maybe others too) can't receive message notifications from more than one team at once, so I basically can only use Slack with one team. WTF.

Also, I'd really prefer that something with an open protocol be the standard, even if the server is run by one company. I think XMPP was great until everyone made a mess of it.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Acquires Weather App Dark Sky

Tuesday March 31, 2020 10:22 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has acquired weather app Dark Sky, Dark Sky's developers announced today. Dark Sky is one of the most popular weather apps on the App Store, known for its accuracy and storm warnings. Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy. There is no ...

Apple's 2020 MacBook Air vs. 2020 iPad Pro

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:45 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple in March updated both the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro, and with the iPad Pro increasingly positioned as a computer replacement, we thought we'd compare both new machines to see how they measure up and which one might be a better buy depending on user needs. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We're comparing the base model 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the base model...

Zoom Accused of Misleading Users With 'End-to-End Encryption' Claims Amid Other Security Issues [Updated]

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:47 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Zoom is facing fresh scrutiny today following a report that the videoconferencing app's encryption claims are misleading. Zoom states on its website and in its security white paper that the app supports end-to-end encryption, a term that refers to a way of protecting user content so that the company has no access to it whatsoever. However, an investigation by The Intercept reveals that...

Case for Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Shows Up at Best Buy With Alleged April 5 Stock Date

Monday March 30, 2020 4:25 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has a new low-cost iPhone in the works, which is supposed to be launching sometime in the first half of 2020. Given the ongoing situation in the United States and other countries, it's been unclear if the device is going to launch within the planned timeline, but there are signs that it could be coming soon. We started seeing cases for the new low-cost iPhone back in early February,...

Apple Adding Some 2013 and 2014 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Models to Vintage Products List at End of April

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:24 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that the following 2013 and 2014 models of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro will be added to its vintage and obsolete products list on April 30:MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013) MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013) MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2014) MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2014) MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2014)Apple defines vintage...

AirTags Referenced in New Apple Support Video

Thursday April 2, 2020 12:12 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple has accidentally referenced its widely rumored AirTags item tracking tags in a video that it uploaded to its Apple Support channel on YouTube today. The video was first spotted by the blog Appleosophy and has quickly been removed. The video was titled "How to erase your iPhone." AirTags were mentioned in Settings > Apple ID > Find My > Find My iPhone under Enable Offline Finding, with...

Testing Brydge's New Pro+ Keyboard With Trackpad for iPad Pro

Monday March 30, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Well ahead of when Apple introduced trackpad support in iOS 13.4, Brydge announced an iPad Pro keyboard with a built-in multi-touch trackpad. We have one of Brydge's new Pro+ keyboards on hand, and thought we'd check it out to see how it works with Apple's new 2020 iPad Pro models. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The Brydge Pro+ keyboard is similar in design to...

Intel Unveils 10th-Gen Processors Suitable for Next 16-Inch MacBook Pro With Wi-Fi 6 and Turbo Boost Speeds Above 5GHz

Thursday April 2, 2020 7:53 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Intel today announced the launch of its latest 10th-generation Core processors for high-end notebooks, potentially including the next 16-inch MacBook Pro. The batch of 45W chips, part of the Comet Lake family, are built on Intel's 14nm++ architecture. The new H-series chips have the same base clock speeds as the 9th-generation chips in the current 16-inch MacBook Pro, but Turbo Boost speeds...

Apple's Work on New Upcoming Products Progressing Normally as Employees Adjust to Telecommuting

Monday March 30, 2020 11:58 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's development of upcoming products is progressing as usual despite the fact that Apple employees around the world are working from home, according to a new report today out from Bloomberg. Apple is still working on new versions of the HomePod, Apple TV, MacBook Pro, budget iPads, Apple Watch, iPhone, and iMac, all of which could be released "as early as later this year" and have been...

2020 iPad Pro May Not Have a U1 Ultra Wideband Chip After All

Wednesday April 1, 2020 8:49 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
While it was previously reported that all 2020 iPad Pro models feature the same Apple-designed U1 chip as the iPhone 11 lineup, enabling Ultra Wideband support, we have compiled evidence to suggest that this may not be the case. As a reminder, Apple's tech specs for the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro list an Ultra Wideband chip for spatial awareness, but the chip is not mentioned in Apple's...