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Microsoft to unveil new Slack competitor as "Microsoft Teams"

At this point, we basically know all about Microsoft's upcoming Slack competitor. Originally titled "Skype Teams", it appears the service, which is yet to be unveiled officially, will launch under the name "Microsoft Teams" instead, a much better name in our opinion.

Concepts, screenshots and other internal documents all referenced this new service as "Skype Teams", and up until recently the internal beta test login page for the service could be found at teams.skype.com. But as of a few days ago, that URL now redirects elsewhere. The URL and service is now located at teams.microsoft.com, with new branding under "Microsoft Teams".

This suggests Microsoft will unveil their Slack competitor soon, under the new name "Microsoft Teams" rather than "Skype Teams". As many have pointed out, Skype is much more of a consumer brand, outside of Skype for Business of course. Using the Microsoft Teams brand may be a far better idea in the long run, especially if Microsoft is planning to target working professionals,

With Microsoft's Windows 10 event less than 48 hours away, it shouldn't be long now before we know about Microsoft Teams officially. If an announcement isn't made this week, we assume it'll be made next week instead, at the company's Office event. Considering the new Microsoft Teams icon fits in nicely with other Office icons, this wouldn't be all that surprising.

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

60 Comments
  • Great decision
  • Agreed. Always thought the Skype branding was odd for this.
  • Why not just call it Yammer?
  • Or maybe call it "Team Sites"?  Ohhhh... wait, both "Yammer" and "Team Sites" is already taken by very similar products, carry on Microsoft with yet another product that does "document sharing" combined with a message board.
  • Whilst I think it's great they're releasing something with these extra features I do agree they are continually fragmenting things. There's also Office 365 groups. Ultimately you have to be careful which products you choose to use, especially newer ones like MS Teams when it releases because eventually they're going to have to consider pulling the plug on certain products.
  • Agreed. It's hard to get invested (even though I continue to *sigh*) in MS products because of the lack of consistency and stability of any given platform. There are more reboots than even Hollywood seems necessary.
  • I was hoping this would be a complete replacement for Skype for Business (Which is just horrible). The rename probably means it won't be.
  • Why odd? Skype is Microsoft's service for communications, I think skype odds the perfect name for such a service
  • Yes!
  • Looks like its built off the backbone of GroupMe
  • So what is going to happen to GroupMe? Also they have Yammer and Office 365 Groups. Seems a little bit all over the place.
  • this is for business. probably part of 365. Yammer and Groups are going to merge and are completely different.
  • Not that different. Trust me, so many IT guys in my team are very confused about all the options. I get it but they don't and some are really smart but the overlap throws them off and even puts them off from using any one solution entirely.
  • groups and yammer are similar (which is why they're going to merge) but they both are completely different from Teams.
  • I can only speak from my experience, but Yammer and Office 365 Groups had clearly different roles at my company despite the seeming overlap. We have 50,000+ people around the globe, with tons of different departments doing different things. I was a member of maybe thirty Yammer groups, each one organized around a common work-related interest (e.g. data visualization, collaboration tools, Excel); or a large functional business group (HR, Marketing, Data Science, etc.); or a location (NY office, Chicago office). These groups had anywhere from 50-1000 members. Then there was the All Company feed. Yammer was a way to break down silos and learn more about what was happening in other parts of the company; to find expertise or share your own; to pollinate ideas. We tended to use Groups for projects. You'd invite all the folks who'll touch the project and now everyone has a dedicated venue for calendar, documents and communications right inside Office. So now I tend to think of Yammer as more of a networking, publishing and communication platform; and Groups as more of a team collaboration space. You can stretch either of them, but I think they do have different ideal use cases and different strengths. Posted from my Nexus 5X
  • Interesting, do you think this can replace both?  
  • Nah. Yammer is more like Facebook for work. This is similar to Groups.
  • At an engineering firm i worked Yammer was clearly a social network but for work related topics. I really thinks it brings people together across borders.
  • I have no idea. I just assumed they are similar since they are rumored to merge.
  • Hmm, u must be new here, allow me to introduce u to Microsoft
  • Lol. No, I assure you, I am not new here. But this more than anything else, I feel causes that sense of uncertain direction.
  • It's the me too product that we were screaming that Microsoft should make and now that it's here we're all confused. WTF must be coming from the peeps in Redmond.
  • What is happening to Office Groups? Also what about Skype for Business?
  • Very confusing with direction.  GroupMe, Skype for Business, Yammer, and now Microsoft Teams?  Not to mention Skype by itself.  It's getting a bit cluttered and also very overlapped.  Ahh well, way smater folks at the healm than a peon like myself.  Hope it all comes together smartly.  
  • Renaming Lync as Skype for Business was pretty dumb.
  • Your wrong about them being smarter, remember W8 with no start button? some decision makers are just plain clueless.
  • MS doesn't get it. All the overlap and constant starting and stopping creates uncertainty, which causes corporate IT depts to decide to go with another option.
  • Without even looking at it, I'd bet it's nowhere near as intuitive and easy to use as Slack. MS has just been such a huge disappointment the last 5 yrs (though you'd never know it based on its share price).
  • Then id advise you to actually look at it.
  • My company got Slack and nobody uses it. Maybe we'll end up using Microsoft Teams because it will be integrated into Outlook.
  • slack is an overhyped piece of junk. more and more businesses with execs who have a brain and are tech savvy switch to Office 365. There is no comparison between what O365 offers and the competition. At a so much lower cost. The cheapest Business Essentials package, offers the functionality of both Trello and G-Suite (what a name.. sounds like a porn film)  together at 1/3 of the price. Not to talk about the cost of Docs and Jira... etc etc. You must be an idiot if you own any other solution and you do not migrate to Office 365. A Genuine Idiot.
  • Slack doesn't do anything that I couldn't do before.  It has NOTHING to do with business or management.  It's "intuitive and easy" because it's functionally near-useless.  Don't confuse "cool" with "competitive".
  • I have seen this movie before. I know how it ends. Windows Phone Room, GroupMe. All these products have something in common: they all die at the end.
  • Did I miss some news or are you making assumptions? I thought groupme is very much alive.
  • It is alive but not kicking :) Not such a great tool.
  • Really? I find it very functional. Albeit, I'm not necessarily using it in a work/business setting but I haven't experienced any issues with it.
  • If they include it in for free on Office365, I could see this taking off.
  • I most definitely hope so!
  • It's not really a Slack competitor until they stop focusing on Enterprise. Business is done by people. Many of us are in the SoHo space. I've used Slack and GroupMe for a non-profit film festival I work with. I've also used it to work on film and other projects. We're all independent and will never be on the same business account. In fact, I might be the only person with any sorry of O365 subscription, and mine is personal.
  • You are right. Anyone can use slack. If this service is open for everyone with good integrations, then we can consider it. Otherwise, its still no. Why should I pay for office 365 and use this? It doesn't make sense as we have better free alternative.
  • The problem companies have with Slack is security. All your business data being shared to basically what amounts to as Slacks website and servers. Companies trust MS much more with these type of things, and perhaps they will have an on premises solution as well.
  • Except that a lot of companies are using Slack, so that lack of trust must not be a deal breaker. Again, companies are just collections of people. People made Slack popular and brought it to work. Microsoft's "focus" on enterprise is outdated in many ways. You know have to win over people, who MS casts off as "consumers".
  • Damn, it even looks like slack
  • Slack is not the only, or the first app to look like this. But yes, I'm glad it looks relatively similar to slack. Though this looks like it is more. I'll have to get my hands on it before I determine whether it's better or worse.
  • It seems that the only thing dividing people in times to come is whether they are professional or consumer. What about those who are BOTH?
  • Slack belongs to ms instead of developing same why would they developed its competitor...confused MS waste time on building n number of apps which has almost same purpose, after they are developed then try to combine them and kill other,after that try to stop caring about app, one fine day decide to kill this app and after few months start to develop it again...its look like they always have pattern consumers like us never recognised.
  • Wow, calm down dude. Slack does not belong to MS, you started on a very wrong footing.
  • Oh really, my bad sorry haha
  • Does it support the IRC protocol? Does it support plugins? Are there clients for most platforms? Is it free for smaller teams? Can you run it without a Microsoft account? Etc... Otherwise it's not a Slack competitor.
  • How about we wait until the actual announcement to ask questions?
  • I agree on all your points, and I'm willing to say yes to all of those except the IRC, free for small teams and ms account part... but then again, you need a slack account for slack, how is MS needing a MS account bad? Plugins are a given, they've added them everywhere else to Office 365, and with flow they have an IFTTT service. All platforms is guaranteed... this is MS we're talking about. IRC Protocol is probably possible with a plugin but I have to wonder why? An embedable web-frame is the same outcome right?
  • There are too many IM apps by microsoft It's getting oversaturated and confusing. We have skype, microsoft teams, skype business, etc.etc. And that with literally hundreds of third party alternatives. It feels like a social fragmentation of the market. Would it have been better for micorosft to just make skype and add an add-on for business for improved end-to-end security and a couple of missing features for business. Just one comprehensive branding. The idea of IM is improving communication and networking,not increasing fragmentation.
  • What a plethora of collaboration tools. And the split between business and personal shouldn't be in the dual user paradigm.
  • Why is so hard for MS to merge (yammer + groupme + team sites + office 365 groups + skype for business) into one business oriented Office 365/SharePoint service? Are they actually stupid?
  • hah some jobless idiot who can't afford 365 to know what you are talking about voted down your comment. :D You are absolutely right. I would still group it in 2 categories but yes, it needs sorting. Yammer is a bit crappy in terms of features and security options but does the job. Groups is the better option, so if they combine it with Teams it would be great!
  • "Skype is much more of a consumer brand,​"
    what nonsense... the vast majority of enterprises and SMB use the free consumer edition of Skype for communication.
  • Sorry, but adding "Microsoft" to the name of this product will instantly turn off 40% of potential customers.  When are they going to learn that anything "Microsoft" just isn't cool.  Of course, they could help offset this by making the product stable, feature rich, and consistant design language, but that isn't MS's thing with many of their products.  How many years now have they been revamping Skype now?
  • I disagree.  Right now, Microsoft is very cool.  Apple is losing ground and its lack of innovation is evident.  Being a Apple user since 1978, I am more excited about what is coming out of Redmond than anywhere today....and I am not the only one.
  • When are Microsoft going to learn that REAL business people do more than just chat and set up meetings so they can chat some more?  And that real business people don't give a fig about what is "cool" or not.  Microsoft already have the world's most dominant Project Management system used by millions of companies worldwide.  While Project is overkill for many smaller businesses, some of the features such as team-wide scheduling, deadline management, global and hierarchial to-do lists,  reporting schedules and the like are crying out to be integrated into "business" software.
  • Hate to say that you are behind the times.  Slack is an exceptionally good tool for team communications.  Slack, and in this case Teams, is not a project managment tool. Since you sound like you have never used the tool, you need to get into it to appreciate how it works.  First of all, the best part of Slack is there is no more cover my A _ _ emails and the search capabilities are better than Google. It is able communicating within teams. While Microsoft Project is a great tool, I know very few people that use it any more.  Most of the PM's I know have moved on to more robust and collaborative packages like Asana, Basecame, Podio, just to name a few.  In fact our organization uses Service Now, which is also a defacto tool in the defense sector.  I honestly think Project sucks in that people spend more time learning the tools than they do doing the projects.