Microsoft Teams is Trying to Kill Slack

Slack has always been about replacing email as the way professionals communicate. Microsoft Teams has been getting more aggressive in the last 6 months especially against Slack, which is a startup that recently went public.

Microsoft will launch a new ad campaign for its Teams tool this weekend. You know, Superbowl weekend. Yep, that’s Microsoft leveraging its deep pockets against a smarter and better competitor. Yay Capitalism!

The campaign will try to show how the tool can move past an “old way of working.” This comes as Microsoft and Slack are competing with their chat products. Slack has in the area of 15 million daily active users, while Teams is seriously not that popular. I don’t know anyone who uses Microsoft Teams on a regular basis as their go-to.

It’s a bit like Microsoft Game-streaming trying to go after Twitch, it’s wishful thinking in the extreme. But things are getting a bit dirty with Slack accusing Microsoft last year of even ripping off its Ads.

A new global ad campaign from Microsoft will aim to sell “The Power of Teams,” juxtaposing old-school conference room meetings, complete with packets of printed-out charts and spilled coffee as phones are passed, versus what the company pitches as a new way of working.

Should we be cheering or shaking our head at Microsoft, that is being more aggressive with Azure, Teams and Mixer since it crossed the $1 Trillion market cap valuation? On Mixer, Microsoft has been literally buying off influencers from Twitch, what a plan! Microsoft can afford to splash money on its skirmishes against more established and frankly better products.

Microsoft is Behaving More like the Microsoft of Old

Teams, which launched in 2016, is a collaboration tool that offers chat, meetings, calling and file collaboration. Microsoft said in November that it had more than 20 million daily active users, a 54% increase from its prior announcement about usage and apparently more than Slack. The way Microsoft calculates DAUs though is likely as bogus as LinkedIn metrics.

In fact, the way Microsoft is behaving vs. Slack and Twitch is a bit like the evil Microsoft of old, all the while its CEO is flashing a plan to be carbon negative by 2030. Microsoft is playing its old games. A more realistic figure of DAUs for Microsoft Teams would be around 6 million, roughly half of Slack. Azure is way behind AWS, but Microsoft also does not post detailed figures on that, a classic old-school trick.

Microsoft is a major global advertiser, spending $1.6 billion in global advertising in the fiscal year 2019, according to the company’s annual report. Can cash onboard more users to an inferior product? How sticky is that product? Slack is a winner due to its fanatical user approval ratings, beat out only by firms like Peloton. Slack has not heard of stickiness for small businesses, startups, and even bigger companies now.

The Microsoft Teams campaign will try to show how the tool can move past an “old way of working.” But Microsoft is following the “old Microsoft” in its blitz against rivals in these business verticals. Not cool, Microsoft!

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