Microsoft's Slack competitor is coming March 14

Teams will be generally available next week, the company announced

Microsoft’s entry into the modern workplace chat app market will be generally available in a week. The company announced Tuesday it will be marking the occasion with a webcast to discuss what’s new since the service was announced last year.

The Teams product is Microsoft’s answer to group chat apps like Slack and HipChat. The service provides Office 365 customers with shared workspaces they can use to discuss work with one another. It connects with Office 365 to let users collaborate on notes, documents, spreadsheets, and more while discussing work in the same place.

Teams’ marquee features at the time of launch were its support for threaded conversations and rich third-party integrations that let companies bring the functionality of their services into Microsoft’s chat app. Teams has been in public beta since early November, but general availability is expected to bring new functionality to the service.

A Spiceworks survey released earlier this year showed that Teams drew the most interest from IT pros looking to deploy a group chat app in the future. One of the key advantages Microsoft has over its competition is that Teams will be included in Office 365, meaning that customers won’t have to pay an extra fee for group chat.

What remains to be seen is how Teams will actually fair in the market after launch. It’s missing features compared to Slack and other competitors, but it’s in the early days for Microsoft’s group chat app.

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Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
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