Hello Everyone. Microsoft turns up the heat on Slack with Teams group chat update, that means Microsoft added a raft of latest new features to its Teams with group chat updated platform this week, offering it more comfortable to communicate with 3rd-party apps and find new services through an app list. The update, Microsoft said, is its most significant single release of new functionality since Teams began the previous year.

Microsoft Sharpens Teams with Group Chat Update

Microsoft Sharpens Teams with Group Chat Update

The launch of the Teams with group chat app store means it is now possible to search and find apps and services to combine with the chat platform. Users can find apps by searching by name, category type, such as bots. The move brings Teams in line with competitive Slack, which launched its app directory in 2015.

A personal app view puts the most commonly accessed applications at a user’s fingertips and highlights items that have been assigned to them, whether that be Microsoft tools such as Planner or 3rd-party apps like Jira Cloud. Also added in the view is a new app, dubbed Who, that lets users search for people within their company by name or topic.

Microsoft has also made it easier for users to control apps from within Teams and take quick actions directly from the notification box, which has been moved to the top of the screen.

Microsoft turns up heat on Slack with Teams group chat update

Users can, for example, search for information in an app, such as an image in Adobe Creative Cloud, and insert the results into a Teams hearing.

And slash commands shortcuts allow users to perform quick actions, such as setting their Teams status to ‘away’ by typing ‘/ away’ in the command box, or to add a partner to a team quickly. Additional command uses are also in the works, Microsoft said, including the ability to create a task in a third-party project control app.

Alan Lepofsky, vice president & principal analyst at Constellation Research, said the latest new features help support Microsoft’s vision of Teams “as the hub for all the Office 365 apps as well as 3rd-party integrations.

“No one needs ‘yet another chat app,’” he said, “but if an enterprise messaging client can provide noticeable additional value to a business process, then people will start to adopt it.”

Raul Castañón-Martínez, the superior analyst at 451 Research, said the ability to work more efficiently with other apps from within Teams “closes a gap” with businesspeople similar to Slack and Atlassian.

“This is something that Slack and Atlassian are especially good at and have a got a lead with the number of combinations they provide,” he said.

Castañón-Martínez added that Microsoft is “actually going a step further” than its rivals by providing help with easy access to the apps their employees committed to them and the ability to obtain Microsoft Graph with the Who app.

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“These features can help Microsoft maintain its place, given that they leverage its current market footprint,” he said.

Microsoft apparently has big plans for Teams as the central communications tool in Office 365, completely displacing Skype for Business over time.

Although there are plans to add call control features like. voicemail, hold, call forwarding and – Teams currently falls short in associated communications capabilities.

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“Even with the latest new features that are coming out this year it is still not close to growing a replacement for a phone system,” he said.

Nevertheless, as a collaboration tool, Teams is now “pretty much up to par with Slack; even ahead in some areas,” Castanon-Martinez said.

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