Yesterday we reported on a special internal event that Microsoft organized to showcase its Surface Centaurus dual-screen device. While the prototype hardware was the star of the showcase, other items were also on the agenda. For example, a new version of Microsoft Teams was also detailed.
Likely to launch some time this year, the new Microsoft Teams for Life is a new version of the popular work collaboration service.
However, whereas the normal Microsoft Teams is focused on enterprise use, “For Life” will be for personal users. It will be for family and friends, suggesting it will be a consumer-facing communication and collaboration tool.
Does that mean it will compete with the likes of WhatsApp, Messenger, and Microsoft’s own Skype? That remains to be seen, but a report from The Verge suggests Microsoft Teams for Life will have features like shared calendars, document sharing, and location sending.
As this was an internal showcase, details regarding the solution remain scarce. However, it seems Microsoft Teams for Life is ready for launch. At least it is beyond experimental considering Microsoft was willing to show it to employees.
One hurdle Microsoft will have to clear is convincing users they need another chat app in their lives, or another solution for managing and connecting contacts.
That said, Teams has been enough of a success in business that Microsoft may see expansion to personal as a no-lose situation. On the enterprise side, Microsoft Teams have tackled the challenge of Slack and become a popular tool for users.
However, much of that success has been built on Teams’ integration with Office 365. If the service transitions to personal users, it won’t have a ready-built install base waiting for it.