Slack, in case you don’t know, is a chat and collaboration tool for workplace. Recently, according to this MS Power User update, Microsoft tried to purchase Slack but none other than Bill Gates scuttled the move and instead, advised his company to focus on Skype. So now Microsoft is working on Skype Teams, a full-fledged business collaboration tool that will ultimately compete with Slack.
Users of Slack can use Skype to carry out chat conversations with their colleagues, but the Slack team is also working on building its own video feature so that it does not have to rely on Skype. Bill Gates thinks that there is a big potential in developing Skype as a complete business collaboration tool.
Sure, Skype has empowered many businesses right from the days when most didn’t even know the meaning of VoIP. In fact, I remember, when I started taking assignments from abroad, VoIP basically meant making calls from Skype.
A big feature in Slack is that you can create channels of colleagues and collaborate with them while carrying out your interactions in the department within which you have created the channels, separately. You will be able to achieve the same in Skype Teams. Colleagues will be able to create channels while working on different projects and they will also be able to communicate to each other directly using Direct Messages on Skype Teams.
Another feature that you will find in Skype Teams that right now does not exist in Slack, is Threaded Conversations. A big benefit of threaded conversations is that once a conversation has started anyone can join at any point.
Once you start using Skype Teams, you will also be able to incorporate the Microsoft Office Suite products like PowerPoint and Excel spreadsheets.
Will it be able to kill Slack? It remains to be seen. Just because a company is bigger, in this case, Microsoft, doesn’t mean that it can beat a smaller player, in this case, Slack. Even Google hasn’t been able to compete with Facebook and Twitter.