This week, Microsoft Teams released a plethora of new features to their program in hopes of ~finally~ stealing some diehard Slack users -- and maybe, just maybe, it might work this time. 

Although Microsoft Teams was only released in 2017, the technology powerhouse has been trying to compete in the corporate chat community for years. In 2012, Microsoft acquired Yammer, which founded in 2008 and actually predates Slack by a year. 

However, despite the acquisition, Slack still reigns supreme at over 6 million daily users. This is likely because Slack acts as more of an instant messaging service as opposed to a giant Facebook page, a la Yammer. Thus, companies will likely choose Slack when they need to communicate directly with their team members as opposed to chat about the company holiday party or plan the next birthday happy hour. 

But Microsoft's update changes this. While Yammer still remains more of a company culture tool than a company productivity tool, the latest slew of features places productive teamwork above all else. 

Users can now integrate Microsoft Teams with other apps and programs. For example, one click will let a user pull a task from Trello into a chat. Additionally, a much-needed command bar allows users to interact with all of their synced apps and track tasks seamlessly. 

Teams will also allow users to more easily collaborate on 356 projects together -- even across PC, Mac and mobile devices. Much like Google Docs, you'll be able to see the changes being made by others in real time, ensuring co-authoring is as productive as possible. This tool is particularly helpful for remote teams -- an increasing trend in a digital world. What's more? Don't fret about a power outage or a laptop malfunction, because your work will be auto-saved. 

In addition to the above additions, Microsoft Teams also includes: 

  • The ability to drag and drop files throughout apps and OneDrive, ensuring you can transfer content more easily.
  • Access to OneDrive from iOS apps, as well as more preview functionality for One Drive files on Apple products.
  • A unified search function that will consolidate everything from your latest due date to your next travel itinerary into Microsoft Graph for quick access.  
  • Mac functionality for Immersive Reader and Read Aloud, which provide various spell and grammar checks that are often more effective than what Word provides and are inclusive of individuals who may have a learning disability such as dyslexia. 

With such a wide array of functionality and easy navigation, it seems as though Microsoft has finally found its niche. While we may not be instant messaging our coworkers through Microsoft, we could very well be tapping into our most productive selves. Only time will tell...

Microsoft Teams is available through Office 365, and all of these updates are open to the public now. 

Have you switched from Slack to Microsoft Teams? Tell us why (or why not...) in the comments below.

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