Microsoft appears to be having some major problems keeping a lid on its Skype Teams application. We've seen several leaks so far, but this one points to some major improvements of competitor Slack. Of course, the company probably isn't trying too hard to keep things quiet – it's basically free marketing.
According to Petri, Microsoft's workplace chat tool will come with some powerful collaboration tools. The information seems to come from a tester, who has shared documentation and videos.
Skype Teams Collaboration Features
We already mentioned Microsoft's strange threaded conversations in Skype Teams. Now the reasoning becomes clearer due to in-line document editing.
Files can be embedded directly into the Skype Teams chat, which allows multiple users to view and work on the document. Furthermore, a video call can be created with those collaborators in one click to discuss issues.
Naturally, you're able to share your screen in these calls, and other general Skype features. Users in the chat will be able to see if a call is ongoing and join if they want to keep updated.
This combines with a lot of the content from Office 365. For example, calendars, OneDrive storage, and SharePoint files can all be found within the app for seamless collaboration.
You'll also be able to invite users to channel via both email address and security groups. The latter should be much faster than adding each user individually.
So far, the app is looking like a strong competitor to Slack. It seems to compete on almost every avenue and adds invaluable features for Office fans.
However, the current consensus is that you'll need an Office 365 subscription to get access to the tool. That means it's not going to have a free plan like Slack, but it should be a natural extension for businesses that already pay.
We could see a public beta for the app as early as Next month, with an early release expected in January of 2017.