Microsoft Teams Launched, Competes With Slack

Microsoft unveiled the latest member of the Office 365 group - the Microsoft Teams.

Teams, the new integrated collaboration app, was introduced by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella last Wednesday during a press event in New York.

Microsoft Teams is meant to compete with Slack. Like the latter, Teams is "a digital transformation of an open office space". They both offer an open and fluid environment or platform for people to chat.

First-timer users may easily mistake one for the other, according to CNET. Both tools have comparable user interfaces or, in other words, look like each other.

They also both use channels and individual or small group chat design language.

Teams also have in-line animated GIFs. One reason Slack is popular is the fun integrations such as GIFs and emojis. Microsoft wanted the same for Teams and came up with a multimedia option where a list of options pops up. The list includes Emoji, Giphy, Office Drama, Meme and so on. These options look like the Facebook Sticker store.

Teams have bots such as the WhoBot that are strikingly similar to Slack's assistant bots. WhoBot is used to locate particular people in an organization according to his or her assignments or specializations.

Unlike Slack, Teams will support threaded conversations. Slack has been criticized for its lack of threaded conversations similar to emails.

While both Slack and Teams support GIFs, the latter provides the user a preview of the GIF. In Slacks, the user needs to type the slash command first.

Other features of Teams include a meme generator, Skype, a SharePoint directory and an Add Tab option where the user can add Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and other apps.

Individual users will not have the benefit of using Teams. For now, the teamwork app is available only to businesses particularly to Office subscribers.

Microsoft Teams will be available on specific Office 365 plans such as Business Essentials and Business Premium. It will also work on major platforms such as Windows 10, iOS, Android and Mac.

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