21 votes

Microsoft Teams is now officially bigger than Slack

39 comments

  1. Parliament
    (edited )
    Link
    I quite enjoy Teams as my workplace chat. We've been on it the last 10 months. I've also used Slack and IRC (and Skype, Jabber, Shoretel, Lotus Notes chat, etc.) for various groups, and Teams just...

    I quite enjoy Teams as my workplace chat. We've been on it the last 10 months. I've also used Slack and IRC (and Skype, Jabber, Shoretel, Lotus Notes chat, etc.) for various groups, and Teams just feels right for a workplace setting. More formal than Slack and integrates with all the MS Office suite apps, which are what I use most for my job.

    We actually use the video chat almost daily with Teams. I thought I would hate being on video, but now I'm comfortable seeing my co-workers in another office and feel I connect better with them. It's become second nature. That's my piece at least.

    12 votes
  2. [7]
    vord
    Link
    When you give it away for free, it kinda makes sense that their numbers skyrocketed. It is typical Microsoft: push out a "good enough" product for free, so companies don't bother looking at other...

    When you give it away for free, it kinda makes sense that their numbers skyrocketed. It is typical Microsoft: push out a "good enough" product for free, so companies don't bother looking at other options.

    I'm still holding out for mass https://rocket.chat adoption...they're catching up with slack functionality surprisingly quickly.

    10 votes
    1. Death
      Link Parent
      It's not just this one product though, Microsoft has been pushing out a whole package that's just good enough at a lot of things to be worth it for most companies. Personally I don't have a lot of...

      It's not just this one product though, Microsoft has been pushing out a whole package that's just good enough at a lot of things to be worth it for most companies.

      Personally I don't have a lot of hope for RocketChat, Mattermost, or Matrix in terms of corporate adoption, their models just don't suit themselves to it and there's too many good competitors.

      7 votes
    2. VoidOutput
      Link Parent
      What about Mattermost if what you're looking for is an open-source replacement?

      What about Mattermost if what you're looking for is an open-source replacement?

      3 votes
    3. [2]
      babypuncher
      Link Parent
      I just want a good option with native clients that don't use Electron.

      I just want a good option with native clients that don't use Electron.

      2 votes
      1. deadbeef
        Link Parent
        If you don't mind command line interfaces, there's a Slack-plugin for WeeChat. I use it at work. But I do use Slack's web client in parallel sometimes for file transfers and searches, so.. Maybe...

        If you don't mind command line interfaces, there's a Slack-plugin for WeeChat.
        I use it at work. But I do use Slack's web client in parallel sometimes for file transfers and searches, so.. Maybe it doesn't count as a "good" option.

        3 votes
    4. Codo_Sapien
      Link Parent
      That's a good point. Also useful is that they're selling it as a counterpart to the entire Office 365 experience, so IT admins can bundle it in as well.

      That's a good point. Also useful is that they're selling it as a counterpart to the entire Office 365 experience, so IT admins can bundle it in as well.

  3. nzealand
    Link
    Slack has huge downside. The company is overvalued. The product is great from an end users perspective, but that is not enough in the B2B space. Slack has a market cap of $17B with a yearly...

    Slack has huge downside. The company is overvalued. The product is great from an end users perspective, but that is not enough in the B2B space.

    Slack has a market cap of $17B with a yearly revenue of $454.45 which gives it a price/sales ratio of 37.

    It is growing revenue 67% year over year while keeping it's net loss at around $149m.

    Workday looked the same during calendar 2013, grew revenues 74% to $409m with a loss of $147m and its market capitalization grew 61% to about $14.5 billion. This resulted in a price/sales ratio of 35. For the next four years, the stock languished while revenue grew like gangbusters, until the price sales ratio reduced to about 8 by 2016. The stock only recently started to outperform the overall market when the price sales ratio expanded to 15. Workday revenues are still growing at 32% and the losses are growing at 17%.

    Workday however owned the key decision maker. The head of HR. The only way to beat Workday was to go in at the CEO level, or maybe get in via a strong IT department. And their market space was huge and proven. No one was going open source on HR.

    Whoever pays for Slack also has to pay for Zoom and Confluence plus maybe MS Office, and now the Microsoft sales rep is friends with the key decision maker, telling him "what you really need is MS Teams, everyone will be more productive because they can more effectively collaborate on shared documents, imagine what your teams can do with increased planning velocity...." Alternatively, someone in IT is saying, "dude, we pay slack all this money, Telegram is just as good, and it is free." And Slack is not sticky, except among the IT crowd. There is no cost in switching. They know that. Even if Slack gets the sale or keeps the renewal, they have to discount.

    It's hard making money on the short side of a stock, but I could not resist buying a few deep OOTM puts on Slack.

    10 votes
  4. [7]
    Codo_Sapien
    Link
    This is crazy that they were able to catch up to Slack this quickly... MS launched Teams in 2017.

    This is crazy that they were able to catch up to Slack this quickly... MS launched Teams in 2017.

    5 votes
    1. [5]
      Litmus2336
      Link Parent
      Microsoft has a lot of money to throw around, so if anyone could do it they could. That said, I am a bit surprised they succeeded in the same area lync and Skype for Business failed. I'll have to...

      Microsoft has a lot of money to throw around, so if anyone could do it they could.

      That said, I am a bit surprised they succeeded in the same area lync and Skype for Business failed. I'll have to try out MS Teams and see if it's any good. I wonder if my company will switch...

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        Loire
        Link Parent
        I mean Lync is nothing but a chat/video client. It doesn't have the collaboration tools a Slack clone does, so how could it ever have competed.

        I mean Lync is nothing but a chat/video client. It doesn't have the collaboration tools a Slack clone does, so how could it ever have competed.

        5 votes
        1. Litmus2336
          Link Parent
          Really the only way is by being to the market 6 years earlier (Office Communicator). Still, it just never caught on and the constant name rebrands show that.

          Really the only way is by being to the market 6 years earlier (Office Communicator). Still, it just never caught on and the constant name rebrands show that.

      2. [2]
        Codo_Sapien
        Link Parent
        We tried it out for a time, and it was... OK. We felt it didn't have any features that distinguished it from Slack to make the switch. Truth be told, these group chat apps are extremely similar in...

        We tried it out for a time, and it was... OK. We felt it didn't have any features that distinguished it from Slack to make the switch.

        Truth be told, these group chat apps are extremely similar in the design factor. I tried out Discord, and I could have sworn the app was made by the same company as Slack, but to my surprise, it was different.

        1 vote
        1. Loire
          Link Parent
          The feature that distinguishes it from slack is O365 integration. For companies that aren't in the trendy/tech realm that maybe don't even know what slack is that is a huge factor. Why use slack...

          The feature that distinguishes it from slack is O365 integration. For companies that aren't in the trendy/tech realm that maybe don't even know what slack is that is a huge factor.

          Why use slack when Teams "does the same thing" and integrates easily with the office suite we are already using, os the thought process.

          3 votes
    2. falc0n
      Link Parent
      They're packaging in Teams with Office 365, which a lot of huge companies use. Slack is great and I'd rather use it, but I can't make a business case for using it over Teams when Slack's per-user...

      They're packaging in Teams with Office 365, which a lot of huge companies use. Slack is great and I'd rather use it, but I can't make a business case for using it over Teams when Slack's per-user pricing is so high.

      3 votes
  5. [2]
    Kenny
    Link
    It needs polish. I'm testing it at Purdue for University-wide rollout and it's meh. Slack has a lot more polish. I will say that Teams has a much higher quality video chat experience than Skype...

    It needs polish. I'm testing it at Purdue for University-wide rollout and it's meh. Slack has a lot more polish. I will say that Teams has a much higher quality video chat experience than Skype for Business, so that's going for it. We've switched to doing our standups with Teams over Skype. We don't pay for Slack though. I am not sure I have met any team that does.

    5 votes
    1. Codo_Sapien
      Link Parent
      We do Skype standups, Slack for inter-office communication. It's a darn sight better than Lync/Skype for Business, but I like to kick Slack in the legs for doing a logo change before implementing...

      We do Skype standups, Slack for inter-office communication. It's a darn sight better than Lync/Skype for Business, but I like to kick Slack in the legs for doing a logo change before implementing a dark mode.

      1 vote
  6. [4]
    Death
    Link
    I think that's an important distinction. Microsoft has a very complete package for large enterprises which means teams is probably being pushed to larger groups of employees. This probably pumps...

    Despite the obvious comparisons, Microsoft and Slack have plenty of instances where they aren't targeting the same audiences. Microsoft has an established reputation among enterprise businesses, and being a part of the Office 365 suite makes it a preferred choice for groups that are already working in that ecosystem. For smaller organizations, or even large ones that rely more on Google systems, Slack remains an alternative.

    I think that's an important distinction. Microsoft has a very complete package for large enterprises which means teams is probably being pushed to larger groups of employees. This probably pumps the numbers up quite a bit.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      Douglas
      Link Parent
      My workplace went with Slack and we're only about ~100 employees. Considering how much of a chore it was to finally switch some departments onto it (namely HR & sales), I doubt they'll be...

      My workplace went with Slack and we're only about ~100 employees. Considering how much of a chore it was to finally switch some departments onto it (namely HR & sales), I doubt they'll be switching to something new anytime soon-- though they admittedly, for whatever reason, seem hellbent on trying a new video meeting service every year for the all-company meeting stuff.

      That being said, I naively had no idea there were similar programs out there; I'd assumed at most the competition was Skype or Google Talk. Aside from the price point, is there any reason a team might switch from Slack to Teams?

      3 votes
      1. Arishaig
        Link Parent
        As with all things Microsoft, it always comes down to integration. Since a majority of larger businesses use Office products already, the fact that Teams integrates with Excel, Word, OneDrive,...

        As with all things Microsoft, it always comes down to integration. Since a majority of larger businesses use Office products already, the fact that Teams integrates with Excel, Word, OneDrive, etc. is a huge plus (both from a technical perspective and from a licensing perspective).

        Obviously Slack has more integrations with third-party tools/services right now, but for a lot of companies O365 is more important than any other single application.

        3 votes
    2. Codo_Sapien
      Link Parent
      Yeah, When I made the initial comment, I completely forgot Office 365, and was comparing the two in the vacuum of time alone. Putting O365 back into the mix, it makes sense.

      Yeah, When I made the initial comment, I completely forgot Office 365, and was comparing the two in the vacuum of time alone.

      Putting O365 back into the mix, it makes sense.

      1 vote
  7. [2]
    patience_limited
    (edited )
    Link
    My former employer ["ExCo"] went full-on Office 365 Enterprise, including Teams rollout this year. One of the most compelling Teams features for corporations is the granular management for...

    My former employer ["ExCo"] went full-on Office 365 Enterprise, including Teams rollout this year.

    One of the most compelling Teams features for corporations is the granular management for compliance. ExCo had an insane compliance policy with 90-day expiration for all e-mail messages, that they successfully applied to chat messages in Teams. Corporate executives, by contrast, had permanent archiving of all direct mail and chats. This keeps the lawyers happy - any discoverable material for lawsuits or regulatory enforcement is kept to the minimum necessary. Lower level harassment, discrimination and other claims would fail for lack of documentary evidence. Logging can be enabled to any desired level, particularly file-sharing control logs, so HIPAA compliance can be proved easily.

    I liked using Teams well enough, though it was awkward to use and unreliable for communication across non-federated domains of acquired subsidiaries. [Immensely better than the 365 browser-only version of Skype, though.] The Android client worked fine, even though there were some UI idiosyncracies.

    I expect the experience would be more pleasing in smaller organisations. There can be a tremendous amount of administrative overhead depending on what your organization's needs entail. ExCo's Teams implementation was marred by legacy Exchange and SharePoint integrations, ongoing resolution and disputes about federation across subsidiaries with differing levels of IT competence, political warfare among departments (alternately to gain control, shove off extra labor, or claim success), and escalating costs.

    4 votes
    1. Codo_Sapien
      Link Parent
      Amen to that! I'm on the tech team at my current place, and I can definitely vouch for Slack's diminished administrative capacity.

      Amen to that! I'm on the tech team at my current place, and I can definitely vouch for Slack's diminished administrative capacity.

      1 vote
  8. [4]
    Chrozera
    Link
    And I'm stuck with Facebook workplace. It works a lot worse with slower connections, code snippets aren't readable, or the thing with triple backticks that Is supposed to be an alternative. Oh...

    And I'm stuck with Facebook workplace.
    It works a lot worse with slower connections, code snippets aren't readable, or the thing with triple backticks that Is supposed to be an alternative.

    Oh well I refuse anything Facebook on my phone so I'm harder to reach in non office hours which is fine by me.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      babypuncher
      Link Parent
      Companies are trusting their communication data with Facebook? What the actual hell?

      Companies are trusting their communication data with Facebook? What the actual hell?

      5 votes
      1. Chrozera
        Link Parent
        It is a lot cheaper than slack, and also has some event management. But probably it was mostly because of the cost.

        It is a lot cheaper than slack, and also has some event management.
        But probably it was mostly because of the cost.

    2. Codo_Sapien
      Link Parent
      I'm so sorry. I've not worked with FB workplace, but I'll take your word for it.

      I'm so sorry. I've not worked with FB workplace, but I'll take your word for it.

  9. [7]
    hamstergeddon
    Link
    And still no official linux support beyond the crippled browser version.

    And still no official linux support beyond the crippled browser version.

    3 votes
    1. [5]
      Loire
      Link Parent
      Their target is dominantly business enterprise which dominantly does not use Linux outside of the server closet.

      Their target is dominantly business enterprise which dominantly does not use Linux outside of the server closet.

      4 votes
      1. [4]
        hamstergeddon
        Link Parent
        ehhh I don't buy that. They support macOS, which has a similarly small presence in business enterprise relative to Windows. Slack has a similar target demo and they don't seem to struggle to have...

        ehhh I don't buy that. They support macOS, which has a similarly small presence in business enterprise relative to Windows. Slack has a similar target demo and they don't seem to struggle to have their software available for multiple Linux distros. And furthermore, Teams the app is basically just the browser version wrapped in Electron with some extra effort put into enabling screensharing and OS-level notifications. Are you telling me there aren't enough linux-users employed by companies that utilize Teams to justify just putting a little extra effort into creating a build for Linux?

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          Loire
          Link Parent
          The macOS/iOS presence is monumentally more significant than linux. My fortune 500 company uses iPhones as our company phones, and Apple's privacy push has made that sort of adoption prevalent....

          They support macOS, which has a similarly small presence in business enterprise relative to Windows.

          The macOS/iOS presence is monumentally more significant than linux. My fortune 500 company uses iPhones as our company phones, and Apple's privacy push has made that sort of adoption prevalent. Our sales and marketing teams also use company Macbooks because they aren't required to use any of the company's proprietary software. If Microsoft's products dont work on our phones it will likely not be adopted. Almost nobody uses linux outside of tech vased firms.

          Slack has a similar target demo

          Slack was initially created as a communication tool for a team working on video game development and has five years head start on Microsoft. Their original target demo was not Joe Blake in accounting coordinating with Suzy in HR. That came later.

          Are you telling me there aren't enough linux-users employed by companies that utilize Teams to justify just putting a little extra effort into creating a build for Linux?

          The companies that make use of Linux for day to day operations are already using Slack. Microsoft is not (currently) going for that demographic. Fighting slack head on is a waste of resources. Once Microsoft dominates the rest of the business environment with their Slack clone, then they will begin attempting to choke out Slack with Linux support.

          Look, I understand that tildes is very tech heavy, so their is going to be a bit of a bubble here. I can tell you that in the average company outside of software and tech nobody uses Linux. The average employee barely knows what Linux is. When you ask about "Enough Linux users to justify", I can't help but chuckle. Even IT will rarely run Linux distros be ause the proprietary software they need to maintain is all developed for Windows.

          6 votes
          1. cfabbro
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            MacOS also has significant market share in Graphic Design and other "creative" departments, far more than even Windows from my experience. So any business with such a department (e.g. marketing,...

            MacOS also has significant market share in Graphic Design and other "creative" departments, far more than even Windows from my experience. So any business with such a department (e.g. marketing, advertising, print/web media, etc) will require Windows and Mac interoperability for their office communication platform. But the same isn't true for Linux, since as you said, Linux is niche even in most company IT departments, other than maybe a select few sysadmins here and there, and the server room.

            4 votes
        2. j3n
          Link Parent
          Granted not quite enterprise, but I've watched my government R&D division slowly morph from 100% Windows to about 60% macOS and 40% Windows over the last decade. Outside of our sys-admin group,...

          Granted not quite enterprise, but I've watched my government R&D division slowly morph from 100% Windows to about 60% macOS and 40% Windows over the last decade. Outside of our sys-admin group, there are exactly zero Linux desktop users before or after.

          1 vote
    2. emdash
      Link Parent
      Isn't the whole application literally a crippled browser app? As far as I can tell, it gives off a very Electron vibe, even on desktop.

      Isn't the whole application literally a crippled browser app? As far as I can tell, it gives off a very Electron vibe, even on desktop.

      1 vote
  10. [4]
    cwagner
    Link
    We use Teams at work. I've used Slack (not in a job setting though) Slack felt pretty bad, way too much noise (this was about 2 years ago). Teams is certainly better than the cluster fuck that was...

    We use Teams at work. I've used Slack (not in a job setting though)

    Slack felt pretty bad, way too much noise (this was about 2 years ago).
    Teams is certainly better than the cluster fuck that was Lync/Skype for Business, but I still can't say I like it. It's slow (oh so very slow), search is even slower and sucks hard. It's buggy and has a lot of annoying keyboard shortcuts I can't even turn off.

    Of the modern multi-user chats I've used, the only one I liked so far was Discord.

    2 votes
    1. [3]
      vegai
      Link Parent
      It's weird how much opinions can differ. I tried Discord after Rust moved their official channels there, and I hate the platform so much that it makes me wanna go language shopping. Previously...

      Of the modern multi-user chats I've used, the only one I liked so far was Discord.

      It's weird how much opinions can differ. I tried Discord after Rust moved their official channels there, and I hate the platform so much that it makes me wanna go language shopping. Previously I've used all sorts of IRC, Telegram/Whatsapp, Matrix, XMPP and MS Teams at work. I liked all of them better than Discord.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        cwagner
        Link Parent
        It might be because I have an aversion to anything mobile linked, so Telegram (yes, you are supposed to somehow use it without, but that never ends up working properly) and Whatsapp are out. XMPP...

        It might be because I have an aversion to anything mobile linked, so Telegram (yes, you are supposed to somehow use it without, but that never ends up working properly) and Whatsapp are out. XMPP I love but no one I know uses it. Matrix also has no users I know, and MS Teams I mentioned my problems.

        Discord is fast and so far bug free with easy markdown syntax and configurable hotkeys. What did you not like about it?

        1 vote
        1. vegai
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Telegram might require registration through mobile, but after that, it will work perfectly without. I use it daily and it has literally never failed to work on the desktop. Whatsapp on the other...

          It might be because I have an aversion to anything mobile linked, so Telegram (yes, you are supposed to somehow use it without, but that never ends up working properly) and Whatsapp are out.

          Telegram might require registration through mobile, but after that, it will work perfectly without. I use it daily and it has literally never failed to work on the desktop. Whatsapp on the other hand fully depends on a mobile device when active.

          Discord is fast and so far bug free with easy markdown syntax and configurable hotkeys. What did you
          not like about it?

          I was prejudiced about it before going in due to lots of separate things (its spying, being completely proprietary source, Rust community unilaterally moving there, its reputation of existing primarily for junior gamers, etc.) that it would've had to impress me in the UX a lot. But when I tried it (with as open mind as I could manage with the context), the UX was utterly confusing, and the client was just as slow any other modern chat client, even though I had been told its UX was the best part.

          So bad expectations validated, good expectations falsified.

          1 vote