Microsoft's answer to Slack coming very soon

Service has been christened Microsoft Teams, which reinforces the likelihood of a reveal next week

We’ve been hearing quite a bit about Microsoft’s challenger to Slack of late, known as Skype Teams up until now. However, the true name of the service has just emerged, or at least it seems very likely that it will be called Microsoft Teams instead – and this renaming underlines speculation that we’ll see a reveal next week.

As Windows Central spotted, the moniker was uncovered because the login page for beta testers has just changed from ‘teams.skype.com’ to ‘teams.microsoft.com’, and new Microsoft Teams branding and logos now adorn the page.

And the name certainly makes sense. After all, you’ve got Microsoft Office, so why not Microsoft Teams? Incidentally, previous speculation has pointed to the fact that this service will be a part of Office 365, specifically the business versions of the online productivity suite (and possibly enterprise plans only – we shall see on that score, although it seems a little odd for Microsoft to be giving small businesses the cold shoulder).

Game-changer for collaboration?

The change of name also reinforces the rumour that Microsoft will reveal this new Slack-alike next week, at a press shindig in New York on Wednesday (November 2). This event is focused on Office (as opposed to tomorrow’s event which will concentrate on Windows and a probable Surface PC) and Microsoft has said it will be about “changing nature of collaboration and how we can empower every team to achieve more”.

The direct mention of empowering every ‘team’ strongly indicates that we’ll see the new service officially unveiled, and making the Microsoft Teams name official just ahead of the event would seem to be preparing the ground.

The rumour mill has previously said that Teams will go into a full beta test next month ahead of a launch in January. Who knows, maybe we could see a full launch even sooner.

Teams will be a cross-platform affair that looks a lot like Slack, although it will differentiate itself with elements such as threaded conversations (i.e. allowing replies to specific messages, Facebook-style), and it will obviously go heavy on integrating Skype features like offering direct video calling between team members.