The Microsoft team in the preview, idle competition in the Office 365 users

Microsoft Teams Launched in Preview, a Slack Rival for Office 365 Users

Microsoft launched an enterprise group chat services, and cloud based Office and Skype product cooperation, aims to occupy a Slack in growing market and Atlassian corp. HipChat.

The new product is “designed to facilitate real-time conversations and collaboration while maintaining and building up that institutional knowledge of a team,” said Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella. The product has team chat, private messages and voice and videoconferencing.

IDC analyst Vanessa Thompson said, as customers flock to web-based tools (such as Slack) to build the team communication, big companies like Microsoft and IBM communication market shows new interest to the company. Microsoft relied on Office 365 and other products to rack up almost $10 billion (roughly Rs. 66,697 crores) in commercial cloud revenue for the fiscal year that ended June 30, and is adding services to draw in more customers.

“Microsoft is trying to get more airtime with customers that might want something to augment their existing investment in Office 365,” Thompson said. “What we have started to see is a bunch of companies trying to attack the enterprise versions of WhatsApp and consumer messaging.” IDC hasn’t published a market size or forecast for the space, which it calls workplace application messaging.

A preview of the service, dubbed Microsoft Teams, is available now for Office 365 commercial customers in some versions. It will be generally available in the first quarter and will be included in all Office 365 Enterprise and small business versions.

Microsoft’s product allows teams to add what it’s calling Tabs, to quickly link to frequently used files and applications. These tabs can relate to Microsoft products like the OneNote note-taking program or to outside products — the company said it’s adding support for Zendesk and Asana soon. The team can also receive notifications via Twitter and making service. Like Slack, it also supports the use of robots – chat with users to automatically perform the task of the program.

This is not the first time that Microsoft into this area – in 2012, the company paid 1.2 billion dollars for conduct company, but has not yet been able to establish the use of the Slack and HipChat. Slack raised $200 million at a valuation of $3.8 billion in April. The startup, which introduced its product in 2013, said it reached annualized revenue of $100 million over the summer and surpassed 1.25 million paid users. HipChat was founded in 2010 and acquired by Atlassian two years later. That company declined to break out specific numbers for the product.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft considered acquiring Slack, but the discussions never got serious enough to involve Nadella or the company’s board, and it opted instead to build its own similar software, said two people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the process wasn’t public. TechCrunch reported Microsoft’s potential interest in Slack in March.

In a very determined competitors, Slack in the New York times out a full page AD on Wednesday, and on its website released a copy of the welcome Microsoft to the scene, and pointed out that “all of this is much more difficult than it looks.”

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