Microsoft officially unveiled Microsoft Teams today, a new chat-based workspace that further enhances the collaboration capabilities in Microsoft Office 365. Microsoft is targeting the 85 million monthly active commercial users that use Office 365, with hopes of toppling the current favorite “Slack”.
“At Microsoft we aim to empower every person and organization with the technology to be more productive as individuals and in groups,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Office 365 is the broadest toolkit and platform for creation, communication and collaboration. Microsoft Teams adds a new experience to Office 365 as the chat-based workspace designed to empower the art of teams.”
The new software offers users a threaded chat to keep everyone informed and up to date. Team conversations are visible to the entire team by default, and the experience also offers private chat capabilities. A library of emojis, GIFs, custom stickers and memes gives people a fun way to express personality within their digital workspace.
Microsoft Teams brings together the workload of Office 365. People can start voice and video meetings, as well as work with Microsoft Office documents, directly within the Microsoft Teams experience. The Microsoft Graph enables intelligence to help with information relevance, discovery and sharing. Microsoft Teams is also built on Office 365 Groups. Because every team is unique, Microsoft Teams offers the ability for teams to customize the experience to meet their specific needs. Team members can create channels to organize conversations by topic. They can customize channels with a feature called Tabs, which provide quick access to frequently used documents and applications. Tabs can be created for Office 365 services like OneNote, SharePoint and Planner, or third-party solutions, such as Zendesk and Asana coming soon.
Microsoft Teams supports the same Connector model as Exchange to bring notifications and updates from third-party services, such as Twitter or GitHub available Wednesday, directly into the experience. In addition, it supports the Microsoft Bot Framework to bring intelligent first- and third-party services into the team environment. The preview of the Microsoft Teams Developer Preview, also announced today, gives developers the opportunity to start building integrations with Microsoft Teams right away.
“We’ve designed Office 365 to meet the unique needs of every group, with purpose-built applications — like Outlook, SharePoint and Yammer — that all naturally work together. And now with Microsoft Teams, Office 365 accommodates all workstyles,” said Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president of Office.
Preview available starting Wednesday
Microsoft stated that starting today (Wednesday) the preview of Microsoft Teams is available to Office 365 commercial customers with Office 365 Enterprise or Business plans.