Microsoft reportedly working on Skype Teams service as a competitor to Slack

Microsoft is reportedly working on a new messaging service under the Skype brand. The product is Skype Teams, and it seems to be targeting businesses who already use the popular Slack service.

Skype Teams

As posted by MSPoweruser, Skype Teams will share many of Slack's features, such as the ability to chat in several "channels" within one team, along with direct messaging between two people on a team, sharing files and notes between team members and channels, and even sharing things like emojis, GIfs from Giphy and more "fun" images. It will also reportedly be able to do things Slack cannot currently do, such as video calls in channels and in private:

Skype Teams will also feature Threaded Conversations, which is a major feature that's lacking on Slack. With Threaded Conversations, you can simply reply to a message on a channel by clicking on the reply button and anyone else can join the thread whenever they want — just like Facebook Comments, or Disqus Comments.

Skype Teams is reportedly designed to be used with Office 365, and it may be available first for those subscribers before expanding to more users. The report claims that Microsoft plans to launch Skype Teams clients for Windows, iOS and Android.

Keep in mind that these details have not yet been confirmed by Microsoft so take them with a grain of salt. Also, it's possible the company could decide to change aspects of this project before its public release, or cancel it entirely. The story does point out a rumor from earlier this year that claimed Qi Lu, Microsoft's Executive Vice President, Applications and Services Group, made a proposal for the company to purchase Slack, but that idea was reportedly dismissed by CEO Satya Nadella and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates — the latter of which was said to be in favor of adding features to Skype to better compete with Slack.

John Callaham