Microsoft unveils workplace chat tool to take on Slack

Microsoft unveils Surface PC in addition to Windows updates

Microsoft announced on Wednesday a brand new workplace chat tool poised to take on industry darling Slack.

The brand new service — called Microsoft Teams — will be a part of Office 365, which includes Microsoft Word, Excel in addition to PowerPoint. Considering Office 365 has more than 85 million commercial monthly active users, the company is usually hoping to lure those core customers to the brand new platform.

Teams is usually designed to make chatting with coworkers fun in addition to easier. In addition to holding conversations in chat rooms, Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) users will be able to reply with comments in threaded conversations in addition to video chat with others. There’s also an option to send emoji, GIFs, custom memes in addition to stickers via the platform, in addition to connect your Twitter feed.

The service includes a heavy focus on bots, allowing users to ask for details about people on the team or chat directly with businesses. Partnerships range through Alaskan Airlines, to help book tickets, to startup Poncho, which gives weather in addition to lifestyle updates like how bad allergies might be today.

Microsoft Teams
A look at Microsoft Teams.

Teams will be available to Office 365 customers with certain plans, such as Business or Business Essentials. of which’s currently in preview across 181 countries in 18 languages in addition to will roll out officially in early 2017. of which will run on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS in addition to web platforms.

The service will directly compete with Slack, a common workplace chat tool with more than 5.8 million weekly active users.

The startup, whose customers include IBM (IBM, Tech30), LinkedIn (LNKD, Tech30) in addition to Conde Nast, took out a full-page ad inside the brand new York Times on Wednesday ahead of Microsoft’s announcement.

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“Dear Microsoft… We’re genuinely excited to have some competition,” the ad said. “We realized a few years ago of which the value of switching to Slack was so obvious in addition to the advantages so overwhelming of which every business could be using Slack, or “something just like of which,” within the decade. of which’s validating to see you’ve come around to the same way of thinking.”

Slack also offered “advice” for Microsoft, stating “all This kind of is usually harder than of which looks.”

Microsoft’s news comes one week after of which showed off its first all-in-one Surface PC called Surface Studio ($2,999), which includes a strong focus on creativity. The move highlighted the company’s desire for users to start thinking of its products as more than just productivity tools.

of which also unveiled its next-generation Windows software — called Windows 10 Creator Update — of which includes virtual reality, augmented reality in addition to 3D support.

nevertheless its latest effort into the workplace chat game is usually a part of a larger trend through tech companies. Last month, Facebook (FB, Tech30) unveiled Workplace, which looks similar to its existing social network nevertheless is usually designed for employees to chat with one another. Users can visit online bulletin boards for their company to see announcements, organize events in addition to watch work-related live streams.

This kind of isn’t Microsoft’s first shot at business-focused social networks. The company acquired Yammer for $1.8 billion dollars in 2012 in addition to most recently bought LinkedIn for $26. 2 billion.

sy88pgw (brand new York) First published November 2, 2016: 11:39 AM ET

Microsoft unveils workplace chat tool to take on Slack

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