Microsoft is taking on Slack with a new messaging system for the workplace, introducing Microsoft Teams as part of Office 365.

With its new service, Microsoft wants to help boost communication and collaboration with colleagues to improve the workplace environment.

Microsoft Teams aims to serve as a standalone, one-stop-shop for better productivity and organization regardless of the project type, offering chats, notes and planning tools to help around the office.

The main focus of the service is on collaboration, tapping the communications expertise of the Microsoft Skype division and the work habit insight provided by Microsoft Office.

Microsoft Teams offers threaded chat, personalization and integration with Office 365, while also launching mobile companion apps on Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

"Microsoft Teams is an entirely new experience that brings together people, conversations and content — along with the tools that teams need — so they can easily collaborate to achieve more," says Microsoft.

"With Microsoft Teams, we aspire to create a more open, digital environment that makes work visible, integrated and accessible — across the team — so everyone can stay in the know."

Microsoft Teams Features And Perks

Offering a work-based chatroom and collaboration platform is nothing new. The hugely successful Slack will likely be Microsoft Teams' greatest challenge, but not it's only one. Facebook also dipped its toes into this water and launched Workplace by Facebook last month.

Consequently, it's not just about offering the features that others do, it's about making a more attractive proposition to stand out from the crowd. Microsoft Teams sets itself apart by offering a number of neat perks that leverage the power of Office 365. For instance, users can pin most-used files to their dashboard for easy access, auto-save attachments to specific folders for each stream, use third-party plugins, integrate their task manager or planner, and more.

Microsoft Teams also comes with T-Bot and Who Bot, with the former being a smart assistant and the latter being the go-to bot for when you need to know who does what in your company.

When it comes to chat, threaded chats aim to keep things more engaging and better organized. Chats are visible to the entire team by default, but Microsoft Teams also allows for private conversations. With deep Skype integration, audio and video conversations are also in the mix. For more fun and personalization, users can add emoji, GIFs, stickers and custom memes to keep the conversation going.

Microsoft Teams is immediately available as a preview in 181 countries and 18 languages, but the full version will arrive sometime in the first quarter of 2017.

In the meantime, check out the video below to get a better idea of what Microsoft Teams has to offer.

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