Teams, Microsoft’s Slack competitor, is official

It’s been a busy few fall for Microsoft. A week after throwing a big Windows/Surface party, the software giant has returned to the Big Apple for its latest piece of news. Clearly the company was just too excited to keep its latest addition to Office 365 under wraps, posting up a launch video just prior to the event’s official kickoff.

Today’s event kicked off with that same video, after a few goofy jokes about feeling like “we were just here, last week.” CEO Satya Nadella hit the stage to talk about collaboration, the “art of the team,” as the company put it, citing the different ways different groups from orchestras to sports teams work differently.

Nadella describes Teams as, “a chat-based workspace…designed to facilitate real-time collaboration while building up the institutional knowledge of a team.” The application is designed to pull together various tools into a single platform, including pieces like meetings, notes, a planner and, of course, chat.


As predicted, the app features threaded chats, keeping different conversations grouped together, along with a deep integration with Skype for voice and video calls built into the app. In fact, the company has built a number of its own offerings into the app, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. Office 365 Groups forms the basis of the application, allowing users to share information across different apps.

Customization is a big point here, as well, letting users design their own experience by way of cloud services built into tabs and Microsoft Bot integration.

Microsoft is launching the application across a spectrum of mobile platforms as well, including iOS, Android and, naturally, Windows Phone. In the demo, the mobile version of the application is essentially a scaled down version of the desktop version.


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