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.

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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 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.