Microsoft today launched its team collaboration app called Microsoft Teams. The app, which competes with Slack, is available in beta starting today. Microsoft describes the app as a "chat-based workspace in Office 365."
The Verge adds:Microsoft is, of course, integrating Teams deeply into Office and Skype. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote are all built-into Microsoft Teams, alongside meetings with Skype for Business. For businesses truly living in a Microsoft world, there's also integration with SharePoint, Power BI, and Planner. Just like Slack, you can search across people, files, and chats, and Microsoft is using its Exchange integration to provide notifications. You can create tabs that integrate with other cloud services, alongside tailored channels and even custom memes throughout chats. Microsoft is also making Teams extensible with open APIs and its own bot framework. Microsoft demonstrated Twitter integrations at its event, where you can push messages from particular Twitter accounts into chat rooms, alongside the ability to create quick polls, or share custom meme images. One of the more interesting features is Microsoft's Skype integration, and the ability for chat room members to drop in and out of persistent video calls to gather for projects or a quick chat. Microsoft is allowing Office 365 customers preview the Microsoft Teams service today, in 181 countries. Microsoft plans to include Microsoft Teams in all Office 365 Business and Enterprise suites, with general availability slated for early 2017. Microsoft is also opening its developer preview program today, with 150 integrations expected at launch early next year, alongside 70 connectors and 85 bots.
Slack, naturally isn't pleased with the existence of Microsoft Teams. In a full-page ad on the New York Times today, the company attempted to mock Microsoft. Update: 11/02 18:10 GMT
: Microsoft says it doesn't have any plans for a free or consumer offering of Teams