A week ago, Microsoft sent out its latest usage information for Microsoft Teams, its successful workplace collaboration platform. According to the company, Teams continues to move ahead of rival Slack with 20 million daily active users.

However, plenty of critics have cast doubt on Microsoft Teams usage data. Specifically, several observers have questioned how Microsoft counts daily active users (DUA).

One issue is Microsoft Teams can be set to run on PC startup. Accusations suggest Microsoft is counting these startups as DUAs even if the user ultimately doesn’t use Teams that day.

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“We continue to view the MSFT threat as overblown and debate the meaning of ‘active,’ especially with auto-install and auto-startup,” said DA Davidson analysts Rishi Jaluria and Hannah Rudoff.

Microsoft has now denied that it counts DUAs in this way. Speaking to CNBC, Jared Spataro, a corporate VP for the company, said several activity criteria are used to assess if someone is using Teams. He confirmed the app automatically launching is not among those factors.

It is worth noting Slack can also be run on startup. Like Microsoft, Slack days it does not count automatic app starts to DUAs. In fact, the company says a user must create or consume content on the platform during 24 hours.

About Microsoft’s counting, Spataro says “We feel really great about the way we define daily active users.”

Slack Pushback

Microsoft confirmed its Microsoft Teams workplace chat service now has over 20 million active daily users. Slack replied by arguing Microsoft’s apparent success was largely misleading:

“As we’ve said before, you can’t transform a workplace if people aren’t actually using your product,” a Slack spokesperson said. “Slack continues to see unmatched engagement on our platform with 5+ billion weekly actions, including 1+ billion mobile actions. Among our paid customers, users spend more than 9 hours per workday connected to our service, including spending about 90 minutes per workday actively using Slack.”

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