Microsoft is building a team messaging app that will take on collaboration tools such as Slack in the enterprise.
The new app will be called Skype Teams, MSPoweruser reported, and will include many features similar to Slack.
The features will include basic collaboration tools such as file, image and document sharing and the ability to communicate with
This will include the ability to chat within different groups in a team and to talk via direct message.
There will also be threaded conversations, which work in a similar way to Facebook or Disqus comments by allowing users to reply to a message at any point in a thread.
Skype Teams will include all of the usual features of Skype such as video calling.
In terms of lay-out, there will be tabs and sidebars including an Activity tab which provides recent notifications, a Chat tab for conversations, a Teams tab to switch between different teams and a Meetings tab to access the schedule. The Files tab provides access to files from Skype Teams and OneDrive.
According to MSPoweruser, the new app will have a very similar user experience to Slack.
Microsoft considered purchasing Slack for $8 billion, according to TechCrunch. However, the acquisition efforts within Microsoft, led by EVP of applications and services Qi Lu, collapsed after Bill Gates and CEO Satya Nadella rejected the idea. Instead, Microsoft decided to build more features into previous buy Skype to take on Slack.
Microsoft bought Skype in May 2011 for $8.5 billion.
A productivity app of this kind is a natural fit for Microsoft’s enterprise focused portfolio. It will also integrate with Office 365, which will be one advantage it has over Slack.
The app is being tested internally, but a release data has not been announced. Initially, Microsoft plans to launch the service for existing Office 365 subscribers.