Microsoft Teams' new TV spot wants you transform your boring office drudgery

What you need to know

  • Microsoft debuted a new TV spot for Microsoft Teams this week.
  • The ad focuses on transforming boring office work into something a little more fun.
  • It also serves as another reminder that Microsoft is ready to aggressively compete with Slack.

Coming off of the explosive growth it saw with Microsoft Teams in 2019, Microsoft debuted a new TV spot for the team communication app this week (via The Verges). The ad spot is called "The Power of Microsoft Teams," and it starts out be flatly going over the drudgery of typical office meetings, with charts aplenty and boring presentations. It then flips things on their head by showing off how Teams can jazz things up by letting you take part in meetings from anywhere, collaborate in brainstorming sessions, and more.

Throughout the ad, we get a look at features of Teams, ranging from the ability to blur your background in video calls, to sharing GIFs and collaborating in Whiteboard. There's also the integration between Teams and all of Microsoft's other Microsoft 365 services, which is a big selling point for the company.

The ad comes after after Microsoft saw Teams surge to 20 million daily active users by November. Earlier in the year, Slack's CEO, Stewart Butterfield, said he didn't see Teams as a threat, and that's a line he stuck to (opens in new tab) in the company's most recent earnings call. Slack and Teams, Butterfield said, "are different tools used for different purposes and our customers achieve markedly different results."

"Teams has the potential to grow as large as Office 365 will allow it," Larry Cannell, a research director covering enterprise collaboration for Gartner, recently told us. But Slack has plenty of positives to draw on as well, including a base of loyal users. "Slack has a strong, passionate user community as well as a large ecosystem of Slack apps to draw on," Cannell said.

We're likely to see Microsoft Teams continue to hit new milestones in the coming months, and it will be interesting to see how it and Microsoft adjust as the competition heats up. Ultimately, however, there's likely plenty of room for both apps in the market.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • We use Teams in my NGO and it is the best thing ever for us. Works well with our partners who are outside of O365. Just add them to the Team as guests using whatever email address they have. They are able to access all of the same files, join meetings, add to conversations etc.
  • Microsoft Teams is amazing! We love the collaboration and as a Teams Administrator, I enable the new features as soon as they are available. Real-time voice translation to different languages, voice to text, closed captioning, meeting recordings that automatically upload to Microsoft Stream, reliable Teams apps for iOS and Android, integration into AD and Office apps, ability to share screens even on phones and a slick user interface has made Teams the best way to meet, speak and collaborate in an international organization.
  • As a long time Slack user ... They need to be worried. Slack has tons of usability issues that people put up with because it's free. It still feels like project, not a product. A perfect example is how long they took to implement dark mode. You'd walk around the office and every window on a screen would be dark, except Slack. We have discussed more than once moving to Teams. Only inertia has kept us from doing so.
  • There is a free limited-version of Microsoft Teams available :)
  • We use the free version in our office. It suits our needs perfectly.
  • That headline on the front page is so unnecessary...
  • Anyone remember Lotus Notes? It had a loyal, passionate user community also. That only lasts so long when an alternative is out there that most other companies use. Sooner or later someone in a company that uses Slack is going to ask why are we still paying extra to use it when they also have Teams included with Office 365. So, Slack needs to keep increasing market share or slowing get phased out.
  • Hah, Lotus Notes sure brings back memories... lol.