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Technology Microsoft is putting Slack on notice

21:06  12 july  2018
21:06  12 july  2018 Source:   qz.com

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Microsoft announced that it’s launching a free version of its Teams software today, July 12.

The company first introduced Teams last year as its answer to the communication tool Slack that has swept workplaces across the US, and raised reams of cash in its short history. Slack currently has around 8 million daily users, 3 million of whom are paid subscribers.

The new free Teams is aimed at small and medium-size businesses. It’ll be free for an organization’s first 300 users, and each user will be given 2GB of storage, along with 10 GB that the team can share.

Microsoft’s new product appears positioned to directly compete with Slack’s free offering. Teams is available in 40 automatically translated languages, offers free group video and voice calling, is deeply integrated with Microsoft Office, and can connect up to 140 other apps, including the popular task-management software, Trello, and Evernote.

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Samir Diwan, chief executive of Polly , a start-up in Seattle that has created polling software that works with Slack and Microsoft Teams, said Microsoft had an advantage because Slack did not yet have the credibility Microsoft enjoyed among the biggest companies.

The first thing you'll notice about Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 's new integrated collaboration application, is that it looks and feels just like Slack . The new tool that's based on Microsoft Office 365 is immediate and direct competition for online collaboration software such as Slack and Atlassian

a screenshot of a computer © Provided by Quartz

Collaboratively editing an Excel spreadsheet from within Teams.

Unlike Slack, there are no limits on how many messages users can send on the free tier, or on the app’s search functions. Teams users can also invite people who don’t work at their organization to groups on Teams, without exposing them to sensitive messages in other groups. After a team butts up against the storage or user limits, they’ll be asked to upgrade to the premium service, which costs $5 per user, per month.

The premium version also has a few nifty features that might be worth upgrading to in themselves. There’s a function where users can blur what’s behind them on video calls, which will be especially useful if you have an important work call you need to take from your messy bedroom (this feature will eventually make it to the free version as well).

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In this article. Post messages to Slack in response to events in your VSTS account, like completed builds, code changes, pull requests, releases, work items changes, and more.

Microsoft Teams looks and feels a lot like Slack , but there are plenty of features, integrations, and fun bells and whistles to help tell the two competing collaboration apps apart. The first thing you'll notice about Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 's new integrated collaboration application

Premium subscribers also get far more storage, and can search closed-captions that are automatically generated from recorded meetings. The paid version also integrates with the rest of the Office 365 suite of services, and has stronger security and more support options.

Microsoft isn’t the only company vying for workers’ attention. Facebook launched Workplace in 2016, and announced in October that it had 30,000 organizations signed up. Atlassian also offers HipChat, and IBM has its Lotus offerings, but Microsoft will be looking to provide a more modern approach to workplace software. And as much as the company likes to push its cloud offerings as its future, business software is still its bread-and-butter for now.

Slack quietly adds auto-expiring statuses .
So you can stop accidentally leaving your status as “lunch” for three hoursNow, when you pull up the status screen, you’ll get the same default statuses with pre-filled expiration times, including one hour for “in a meeting,” 30 minutes for “commuting,” and an unspecified length of time for “vacationing,” which is a nice touch. If you’d like more granular control, you can write in your own status or click one of the default ones and click the downward-facing arrow to pull up greater lengths of time, including “today” and “this week,” and a custom one for picking your own date and time for the status to clear.

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