Bigger companies get their noses everywhere. The office chat platform Slack was doing great on its own and some companies had even started developing add-ons for one of the best known office chat platforms. Now Microsoft has launched a Slack alternative called “Teams”. Naturally it will seamlessly work with Office365 products including MS Word, Excel spreadsheets, Outlook mail and Skype.
Here is the video of the live demo of Microsoft Teams:
The Slack alternative Microsoft office chat platform will be available on subscription to Office365 Enterprise customers as well as Small Business Suite subscribers by early 2017. Microsoft claims that Office365 has 85 million monthly active users so the company will have a ready-made market for its “Teams” office chat software.
Should Slack be worried? Right now Slack is putting up a brave face and they also have a piece of advice for Microsoft. Ultimately it depends on how easy and efficient it is to use Teams. This tweet, for example:
That feeling when you think "we should buy a full page in the Times and publish an open letter," and then you do. 💫 pic.twitter.com/BQiEawRA6d
— Stewart Butterfield (@stewart) November 2, 2016
A bigger company offering a product that is being offered by a smaller company doesn’t mean that the smaller company is going to perish. For example, neither Google nor Microsoft could create a Facebook or Twitter alternative. Microsoft hasn’t even tried Google has tried multiple times. On the other hand, Microsoft did manage to destroy Netscape Navigator despite offering a terrible alternative. Slack has a loyal user base and so does Office365. Microsoft introducing a Slack alternative office chat software doesn’t mean that there needs to be a conflict of interest but eventually, conflict of interest can never be avoided in the revenue-driven world of business.
Here is a nice take on the New York Times letter Slack published in response to Microsoft launching Teams, in The Verge. The letter does seem like a premature response to a product that hasn’t been even properly launched but maybe that’s what seemed right at the time when they decided to go ahead with it.