Microsoft launched Teams as its own take on the booming market for group messaging apps led by Slack and now also fought over by Google, Facebook and Cisco, to name but a few.

As with all team chat tools, the core aim of Microsoft Teams is to connect staff and enhance collaboration, providing an alternative to – or even replacing – email communications. Think of it as a “digital translation of an open office space,” as a Microsoft spokesperson put it.

While Microsoft has effectively been playing catch up with Slack, it has quickly positioned Teams as the central hub for communications and collaboration within Office 365 – as evidenced by the decision to replace Skype for Business with Teams

In fact, it may have already caught up with its rival: a survey report from Spiceworks indicated that Teams is now more widely used than Slack and is set for faster growth over the next two years.

Microsoft’s long-standing presence in the workplace with its Office suite (and of course, Windows) gives it a solid foundation to grow in the collaboration marketplace – and the overall market is very much booming.

“Clearly, Microsoft is putting some weight behind Teams in terms of product development and product marketing,” said Richard Edwards, distinguished research analyst and research director at Freeform Dynamics. “It certainly has shifted from being a sort of tactical experiment project a few years ago to becoming strategic for Microsoft.”

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