And with the COVID-19 situation leading to a major shift towards remote work, collaboration and chat tools are more important than ever. Setting aside legal disputes for a moment and focusing back on productivity, which of the two options is the best choice for your business?
In this post, we’ll compare Microsoft Teams vs Slack and do a deep dive into their features, pricing, user experience, market shares, to help you answer this key question and pick a winner. In 2019, Microsoft Teams surged past Slack in the number of daily active users — hitting 13 million in July. COVID-19-related stay-at-home orders led to more remote working, skyrocketing Microsoft Teams’ user base to a reported 75 million in the first half of 2020.
Microsoft Teams is adding massive numbers of users through large organizations, schools, government workers, and its existing Office 365 customer base. Microsoft is making little headway in this market segment and Slack is showing little signs of letting up its hold on startups any time soon. Microsoft might have more users, recruiting thousands at a time from big companies, but the avant-garde techies of funded startups still favor Slack.
With #remotework in the cards for the foreseeable future, tools like @SlackHQ and @MicrosoftTeams are essential for everyday life. Features like private and public channel (or team) messaging, searchable message history, video conference calls, screen sharing, file sharing (with permission controls from Office 365 suite like SharePoint), and more, help companies work closely together, even though they’re not physically in the same office.
It can support video conferences of up to 250 users or live events with up to 10,000 people (using a combination of Teams, Microsoft Stream, and Yammer). This showcases the real strength of Teams — the rest of the Office 365 suite supports and extends its functionality. Microsoft doesn’t have an artificial limit here, letting you search your entire message history freely.
Overall, Microsoft Teams’ free plan has more unlocked features than Slack’s and fewer limitations. But unless your team relies heavily on screen sharing or video calls, Slack’s user experience won’t feel limited.
It also allows your workspace to add guests and external collaborators, perfect for agencies and consultants who work closely with partners and clients. You can set custom retention policies for messages and files to ensure compliance with any industry or local regulations.
This plan doesn’t include access to the desktop versions of the Office 365 suite like Word and PowerPoint. You get meeting scheduling and recording, 1TB of OneDrive storage per user, and security features like single sign-on and enforced multi-factor authentication.
Specifically, we’ll consider how easy it is for new users to go from clueless, to efficiently using the platform to collaborate and manage projects. But not only that, in recent years, Slack has doubled down on creating a natural onboarding process, with a step-by-step tutorial for new users.
Even Slack’s web app has a comprehensive list of keyboard shortcuts you can use to boost your productivity. Beyond shortcuts, Slack also has advanced search options that can help you find the messages you are looking for faster. Microsoft Teams has, of course, followed suit and tried to implement similar productivity-boosting shortcuts, but they aren’t as organized or intuitively useful as some of Slack’s finer touches. Notice how most of the shortcuts are just about opening a specific tab, rather than helping you quickly complete an essential task. For example, you can set up automatic answers to essential project-related questions like, “What is the deadline for X?” It also integrates with most task management apps like Asana, Trello, and Pipefy. While the bot features are comparable, provided you install the right one in Microsoft Teams, it’s a lot easier to get started with Slack‘s Slackbot.
Slack has integrated apps for all the important Office 365 applications, including Outlook, Calendar, OneDrive, and SharePoint. Both Slack and Microsoft Teams offer essential security features like two-factor authentication for all their plans. In fact, Slack is compliant with most basic ISO certifications, and you can also request specifically configured workspaces that are HIPAA-compliant as well (HIPAA-compliance is only available for enterprise plans.). This makes Slack a suitable choice for companies in most industries that are looking for a collaboration app but are worried about security or compliance.
Through its native integrations, however, Microsoft Teams offers slightly better access control, information management, and security. There are also many advanced administrative options for IT managers to make sure Microsoft Teams is compliant with a company’s internal policies and regulations. It offers a lot of the same features as Slack, and a pro plan won’t cost you anything extra as you’re already paying for it.
If you just want an intuitive chat tool with great productivity features and integration, Slack is a solid choice. All in all both solutions come out pretty even, with slight advantages for Slack in terms of UX, bots, and productivity.
Microsoft Teams has clearly overtaken Slack as the market leader in terms of the sheer number of active users and is rapidly becoming the collaboration platform of choice among enterprises. Microsoft Teams is a little bit cheaper, offers marginally better free plans, and integrates natively with Office 365 tools.
New to the Microsoft Teams platform? With the plan, you also get external collaboration and security capabilities. For the Microsoft Teams Business Essentials Plan–currently priced at $5.00 per user per month–users can enjoy 1 TB per user for OneDrive personal file storage, file attachments in chat, and file sharing within teams and channels.
The plan also adds on security and compliance and administration capabilities, as well as additional Office 365 services including SharePoint, Online, Yammer, Planner, and Stream. It comes as an add-on with any Office 365 plan. As a result, Slack and Microsoft Teams are jam-packed with features such as integrations, meeting, and channel capabilities that allow you to stay within the platform and work efficiently.
Teams and Slack have tons of bot and app integrations to improve the user experience. Teams, on the other hand, builds off the powerful Office 365 platform to provide seamless and powerful integrated apps as well as third-party apps. On both platforms, users can find helper bots such as Slackbot for Slack and Who bot for Teams that can help answer their questions.
For example, you can ask a question like “Who knows about user research?” and get the answer based on the people in your organization. But Teams was built with Microsoft’s years of experience catering to businesses large and small in collaboration with communication applications, so it’s only natural that Teams goes above and beyond with its meeting capabilities. With Teams, on the other hand, even with the free version you can host meetings with up to 250 people. In Microsoft Teams, the ability to create a structured “Team” in the application adds extra security and data management capabilities by enhancing content structure.
When it comes to channels in Slack, one of the most exciting new features is the ability to send emails directly to Slack channels via unique email addresses (paid plans only). Additionally, users can also now share a channel with up to 19 other organizations, allowing for secure external communication and collaboration.
On the other hand, you cannot have channels within a channel in Slack. There are also available DLP and data governance controls that can apply to chat content and the files in Teams. As a Microsoft product, the integration between the Microsoft Teams platform and Office 365 is seamless.
From the face of it, Teams and Slack are pretty similar, but they differ greatly in terms of functionalities. If this review still does not convince you for either Slack or Teams, you can always try Chanty – it’s a team chat and collaboration app, that is easy to use, fast, and stores unlimited message history even in the free plan.
Slack is comparatively easier to sign up for and use, whereas Microsoft Teams is designed for larger enterprises and organisations. It also offers additional integration with Office 365 applications.
Slack Microsoft Teams Pricing model Freemium Standard $6.67 user/month (billed annually) Plus $12.50 user/month (billed annually) Freemium Office 365 Business Essentials $5 per user/month (billed annually) Office 365 Business Premium $12.50 per user/month (billed annually) You can try both paid plans for free for 30 days Message history limit 10K messages in Free plan, unlimited in Standard and Plus plans Unlimited in all plans Audio/video calls Unlimited 1:1 voice and video calls in Free plan Conference calls for up to 15 participants in Paid plans Voice/video calls with up to 250 people in a meeting. Integrations 10 integrations limit in Free plan, 2000+ integrations in paid plans 472 apps to choose from File storage limit Free plan: 5GB file storage for a team Standard plan: 10GB per user Plus plan: 20GB per user Free plan: 2 GB/user and 10GB of shared storage Paid plans: 1 TB per organization Screen sharing Unavailable in Free version, available in Standard and Plus versions Available in all plans Interface color options Custom sidebar themes 3 themes (light, dark, high contrast) Conversation threads Yes Yes. Both platforms have free plans.
For the upgrade of both plans, Slack or Microsoft Teams, they both cost the same $12.50 per user per month, but Teams comes with Office 365 included. Additionally, the Office 365 E3 enterprise plan costs $20 per user per month (billed annually) and the maximum number of users on this plan can be 500,000. Slack offers an enterprise plan too, that offers 1TB of storage for each user, but for the pricing the Slack’s support has to be contacted. It is priced at $3 per user per month, with advanced features like unlimited message history, and both audio and video calls. Slack vs Microsoft Teams: getting started. Finally, you will get to the Microsoft Teams app, and you can start communicating and collaborating.
Slack vs Microsoft Teams: inviting users. Once the user is created, they can then be added to Microsoft Teams application. Adding members to a team in Microsoft Teams app. Additionally the Teams search bar offers many different functionalities as compared to Slack.
Slack vs Microsoft Teams: messaging. It allows the users to edit, delete, pin and react to the messages, mentioning another user with an “@” is also possible.
Users can very conveniently start a new thread, share files and integrate other apps to help increase productivity. Slack Microsoft Teams.
Slack vs Microsoft Teams: threads. To create a thread in Microsoft Teams all you have to do is select the reply option on a message. Slack vs Microsoft Teams: file sharing and collaboration. Slack vs Microsoft Teams: video calls. Here are some screenshots of video calls from Microsoft Teams. The audio and video quality were pretty great, and we were happy with the video calls on Teams.
Chanty team is exploring video calls in Microsoft Teams. Video calls features in MT. Slack vs Microsoft Teams: integrations. Teams integrates with Office 365 seamlessly being a Microsoft product. If you need a team communication and collaboration app that supports task management functionalities, give Chanty a try. Slack vs Microsoft Teams: search.
The “search” option in Slack is very convenient. Microsoft Teams searches the content within files.
Slack vs Microsoft Teams: help and support. On the other hand, there are limited options in Slack, and they are constantly working to improve their interface. Messaging: Slack and Teams have multiple ways to send and receive messages, Including threads. File sharing and collaboration: Teams allows you to share Office 365 files and work on them together on the workspace. Video calls: Both these platforms allow video calls and the functionality works very well. It also allows up to 250 users in a single call on paid plans, as compared to 15 people on Slack.
Additionally, if you’re looking for a communication team app that is easy to set up, you should try Chanty!
Instead of endless email chains, in Slack work happens in channels: flexible spaces for all the people, tools and files you need to get work done. Are Slack messages secure?
With Slack Connect, you can also improve how you communicate with partners, vendors, clients and more, by bringing your conversations directly into Slack.
The two companies have been battling for the top spot among simple, convenient, and flexible tools for chat and conferencing ever since Microsoft announced Teams. The solution, based largely around chat and file sharing, makes it quick and easy for teams to stay connected. Offering everything from video conferencing and chat to business telephony, Microsoft Teams ensures companies can built a cloud-based environment ready for the age of hybrid work.
You can share files and screens on both services, access video and voice calling, and set up group or private chats. Microsoft Teams and Slack also integrate with a wide range of crucial apps, to help companies create a single pane of glass for work. Slack, on the other hand, doesn’t have direct phone support, but it can allow for external communication between companies through Shared Channels. Voice calling Audio conferencing, Microsoft phone plans, and direct routing or operator connect. Slack is among the most popular chat-focused collaboration apps on the market today, making it quick and simple for people to connect in any environment. Both Slack and Microsoft Teams have free options, so you can test the app’s quality and some of its features before you sign up for a paid package.
The Slack free model offers unlimited public and private channels, 5GB of storage, file sharing, and 10 app integrations. The Microsoft free package comes with a maximum meeting duration of 1 hour, support for 300 participants, and collaboration for up to 500 people.
The standard package from Slack costs $6.67 per month when you pay annually, and it allows you to access unlimited integration, while increasing storage to around 10GB per member. Microsoft Teams, on the other hand, is excellent for all kinds of video conferencing, with a 1080p resolution at 30fps as standard to ensure your meetings look great. You can host voice-based meetings within the app, or access Business Phone plans from Microsoft, to make external calls to people around the world.
There are over 600 integrations to choose from in the Microsoft app store, with various connections to leading tools like Trello, Clickup, and Asana. Slack has well over 800 integrations available, with many leading services like Zoom and even Microsoft tools like Teams Calls and Outlook Calendar.
Slack is excellent for beginners in the collaboration space, and it’s likely to be a top choice for salespeople, thanks to Salesforce’s recent purchase.
Teams are the people who work on projects within the organization or as guests from outside the organization. More together mode backgrounds. In the current Microsoft Teams Together Mode gallery view in video meetings joins remote video frames to make it look like attendees are in the same room.
Microsoft revealed last week that it now has more than 13 million people using its Microsoft Teams chat software, a milestone that means the app has overtaken Slack. Butterfield dismissed Microsoft’s push and compared it to the company’s failed attempts with Bing to compete with Google’s massive search engine dominance. Microsoft hasn’t been as focused on this key part of the overall UX of using Slack vs. Microsoft Teams, and you only have to have used both services to understand the differences.
Microsoft Teams ties closely to Office, Skype, and Microsoft’s cloud services, but the company is far behind the third-party integrations that Slack offers and the overall quality and polish. Slack’s challenge is getting people to pay for its service, and Microsoft’s is getting people to love using its service.
To make your decision a little easier, I’ve compared Slack and Teams for enterprises in six categories: interface and usability; integrations; additional noteworthy differences; mobile apps; security, compliance and enterprise management; and pricing. Slack vs. Look and feel: Both the Slack and Teams desktop apps have easily navigated interfaces, with messaging front and center as the focus. Of the two, Slack offers more customization options, with 10 different ways to tweak the sidebar’s look. The Teams sidebar includes icons for Activity, Chat, Teams, Files and, depending on how the organization sets it up, possibly Calendar, Calls and more. There are some differentiating features to consider:.
Slack Slack makes it easy to call members of your team from within the app. But I appreciate the ability to use different notification settings for a mobile device vs. your desktop and to be notified whenever someone uses a keyword you specify. With Slack, you can automatically push notifications to mobile when you’ve been inactive on the desktop client for a specified period of time, from ‘as soon as I’m inactive’ to ‘after I’ve been inactive for 30 minutes.’ Teams is a bit more limited. Top takeaway: For me, the standouts in the interface and usability category are Slackbot’s in-app help, Slack’s customization options, and Teams’ message formatting. Slack vs. Teams: Integrations.
There are some noteworthy differences to consider, particularly regarding integration with productivity suites. Teams is the winner for Office 365 app integration. Not surprisingly, Teams lets you integrate apps from the cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 suite. The deep integration with Microsoft SharePoint and Office applications worked well in my tests and makes a lot of sense for organizations embedded in Microsoft’s ecosystem.
With the G Suite app for Slack, you can access, share, create, reply to comments, and resolve actions on files from within Slack. IDG Slack offers more than 1,800 app integrations (left), while Teams offers more than 250 (right). Slack offers way more third-party app integrations.
Both Slack and Microsoft Teams enable customers to build their own custom apps and integrations. That said, Teams’ integration with Office 365 apps is excellent and should be strongly considered if you’re a Microsoft shop.
Slack vs. By comparison, Teams supports a maximum of 5,000 users per organization; 200 channels per team; and 5,000 users on a channel.
Top takeaway: In my view, Slack has a few more notable differentiators than Teams, such as shared channels.