Slack is one of the popular applications used by business professionals around the world to communicate effectively in a team environment. It’s a preferred choice for various enterprise-scale organizations across the globe because it facilitates quick and easy communication between different team members of the same organization.

However, technology changes quickly. A recent study shows that Microsoft Teams, an application that serves a similar purpose, has been gaining immense popularity in this space over the last few years. Conducted by an IT network named Spiceworks in a focus group that involved over 900 different organizations, the study found that Microsoft Teams is now being used more than Slack. Specifically, the study revealed that 21% of these organizations use Microsoft Teams, whereas only 15% use Slack.

These numbers alone show that Teams has overtaken Slack in popularity and usage, at least in the corporate space. Let’s take a look at what this means for the future of these two apps.

Microsoft Teams Is More Popular Than Slack—So What?

Many IT industry trends have seen ups and downs over the past couple of years. A survey done by the same organization on a similarly sized focus group two years ago showed that only 3% of organizations used Microsoft Teams versus the 13% using Slack. Clearly, things have changed, and Microsoft Teams has come quite a long way in just two years. But what exactly caused this shift?

Why Did Microsoft Teams Surpass Slack in Popularity?

Here are a few reasons why experts think Microsoft Teams surpassed Slack in such a short time span.

Additional Features at No Cost

To strategically position Teams in the market, Microsoft offered it free of charge to existing Office 365 users. And Office 365 is one of the most professional and functional software suites on the market—even most Apple device users prefer Office 365 to other, smaller software suites.

This kind of bundled offer allows business users to transition to the Teams software effortlessly. Typically, business users prefer installing bundled suites over custom software tools like Slack for internal communications, since doing so allows them to easily share files and communicate with their co-workers on a single software platform. The result? Users are better able to maintain an organized environment on their machines, which greatly enhances productivity.

Microsoft’s Large Market Share in the Computing Industry

It’s a well-known fact that Microsoft has the biggest market share in the computing industry—no other company comes close to making an overall impact in the computing market. Naturally, this is one of the main reasons why Microsoft was able to successfully promote Teams as an alternative to Slack. It’s also worth noting several large-scale enterprises operate fully on the Microsoft Windows operating system because it’s offered by multiple device manufacturers. The second-ranked player in the market, Apple, cannot compete nearly as well because its operating system is exclusive to the hardware that it manufactures.

Great Functionality

Demand for Microsoft Teams is still growing. And it’s likely that we’ll see an increasing number of organizations adopting Microsoft Teams as their primary team collaboration solution over the next few years.

At the heart of this popularity is a rich feature set. Microsoft Teams combines Slack’s functionality with that of Office 365 and integrates all of its features in a single platform for improved productivity and ease of use. With its hassle-free approach to managing team communication, Teams helps business users communicate effectively and share documents with each other seamlessly through notes, PowerBI, meetings, chats, planners, and all sorts of other useful features.

A Look at Other Competitors in the Market

Microsoft Teams has gradually gained popularity as the go-to communication solution compared to Slack. However, it’s yet to be the number-one choice—Skype for Business is still king in the internal business communication market.

Of course, the main benefit of Microsoft Teams is its seamless integration with Office 365 tools, something Skype for Business currently lacks. Microsoft Teams allows business users to share documents from Office 365 without ever leaving its interface. Like Skype, it also lets you set up appointments, create groups and sub-conversations, perform tasks, and engage in audio and video conferences.

The fourth and fifth places on the popularity chart go to Google Hangouts and Workplace by Facebook, respectively. Google Hangouts has declined in popularity over the last two years. Workplace by Facebook, on the other hand, has not gained enough traction. (This may be because Facebook is still considered a leisure-oriented social media channel, unlike LinkedIn, which caters to the needs of professionals almost exclusively.)

What This Means for You

With time, Microsoft Teams may become an innate feature of the Windows operating system, just like the Office 365 suite did. Imagining a business environment without Microsoft Outlook is nearly impossible for most organizations today. Similarly, we may one day see a rise in the trend where Microsoft Teams becomes equally essential for business users.

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Written by Jade Bérubé Morin Content Marketing Specialist @ SherWeb

Jade is a Content Marketing specialist with an unbridled passion for her work. She graduated from l’Université de Sherbrooke in Communications and has worked as a Communications Advisor for marketing agencies and private companies for the last 5 years. When she’s not pouring over the latest marketing trends, Jade can be found honing her grand jeté in ballet class. She has studied ballet for more than 20 years.