Following an already pretty full event of new products late last month, now we have a new thing to talk about: Microsoft Teams. The app acts as an additional feature to Office 365, and promises a better way to operate with multiple members on a project.
Taking On Smaller Fish
Before we look at the new Microsoft Teams, we have to address the elephant in the room: Slack. Startup whiz0-company Slack launched as a basic project management and team management platform a couple of years ago. From its humble beginnings it has grown into the “it” kid of the tech world, and a bootstrap success story that makes every would-be entrepreneur salivate.
While many other team management software has come out recently, Slack has remained the king of the genre. The unique channel system, the ability to expand into large scale groups, and the across-device compatibility and syncing are huge pros for people who need a cheap way to keep the gang communicating efficiently.
The appeal to Microsoft is obvious. No one has quite managed to dethrone Slack. But alternatives don’t have the money, power and brand cred that the company does. So that they are launching Teams on Office 365, an already pretty popular cloud and workspace, isn’t a surprise.
What Microsoft Teams Brings To The Table
So, what does Microsoft do that is different from their competition? Well, for one thing it takes a note from Google’s handbook and better integrates their services. Skype, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote will all be connected through Teams. And, of course, you will have that integration within Windows 10, as well. It puts it all into a single package, which will be a boon for heavy Microsoft users.
Other clouds will be offered through Teams, as well. So you will be able to access other third party programs, and the files you keep there.
On the downside, it is Office 365. I know I am not the only one who loathes that service. It is clunky, hard to navigate, harder to customize, not at all intuitive..it is just a bit of a mess. I personally enjoy sleeker, online based services from other companies, such as Google, and (yes) Slack.
But who knows? This might be the update that changes the usability of the product. It would be nice to have an actually good cloud and communication tool that integrates properly with Windows 10. If you have Office 365, you can start trying an early version of the new release today.