It’s been clear for quite some time now that the future workspace is distributed and flexible, fueled by team collaboration tools and apps. Chat tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams are prevalent right now, making it hard to choose between them. So here’s a quick breakdown of the critical features of each.
Slack has been around since 2013, but its popularity has skyrocketed since then, turning the app into a multibillion-dollar company. Not wanting to stay behind, Microsoft introduced Microsoft Teams in 2016. Microsoft Teams has now grown into a prodigious entity in its own right, with around 75 million daily active users.
But which one is the better tool?
Which is Better? The Quick Low-Down
Slack used to have a competitive edge over Microsoft Teams thanks to its established user base and free version. Microsoft recently closed that gap by introducing a free version as well. That means, while the price might still be a consideration for many, it’s no longer the deciding factor.
The most significant differences between these two are the ease of setup and their built-in integrations. Slack is easier to get started with and set up, but while Microsoft Teams is more complex, it’s also better for larger corporations. The Slack integration directory is still more extensive, but Microsoft has been adding more third-party integrations. It also offers full integration with Office 365 applications.
The one other big difference comes with the free versions. Slack has a lot more limitations with its free plan than Microsoft Teams does. However, these limits, like a 10K message limit, 10 integrations limit, and no screen sharing, won’t be massive downsides for everyone.
In the end, it comes down to the company’s needs.
Microsoft Teams vs. Slack: Features
Both Microsoft Teams and Slack come with a host of features, some unique and some shared. These are all centered around getting the most out of the user experience and helping teams collaborate as effectively as possible.
- Audio/video calls
- Slack: unlimited 1:1 on the free plan, conference calls for up to 15 people on paid plans
- MS Teams: allows up to 250 people in a call
- Screen sharing
- Slack: only available for paid plans
- Conversation threads
- Built-in app integrations
- Slack: over 800 integrations
- MS Teams: over 200 integrations
- File storage (limits differ for each plan)
- Helpful bots
- Media, sticker, and GIF integration in chat
- App customization with different themes
- Reactions to messages
- Save, pin and set reminders on messages
- Upload limit of 1GB
- Default, dark, and high contrast themes
- Full and seamless Office 365 integration
- Whobot uses Microsoft Graph artificial intelligence (AI). It can answer in-depth employee or company-related questions
- User can perform various commands from the search bar
- Advanced formatting for messages
- Upload limit of 15GB
Microsoft Teams vs. Slack: Pricing
As stated above, both apps have free and paid tiers:
- Slack offers a Standard plan at $6.67 user/month and a Plus plan at $12.50 user/month.
- Microsoft gives Office 365 Business Essentials at $5 per user/month and Office 365 Business Premium at $12.50 per user/month. Microsoft’s paid plans also have 30-day free trials.
When it comes down to price only, Microsoft wins out as its cheapest paid plan is less expensive than Slack’s cheapest paid plan.
Microsoft Teams vs. Slack: Security
Both Microsoft Teams and Slack encrypt messages, files, and other data. They also enforce two-factor authentication for the entire organization. The two apps are also ISO 27001-compliant, but Microsoft Teams does come with a few other security certifications.
That said, it’s still a good idea to use additional encryption methods and software, especially for remote teams or workers. A lot of confidential data and intellectual property may be shared over these apps every day. So it’s smart to use a VPN as well, even more so for anyone who uses public WiFi, for example, from a coffee shop. Try out a couple of VPNs to find the right fit. Most of the top VPNs offer free trials (for example, this one).
Microsoft Teams vs. Slack: User-Friendliness
As mentioned before, while Slack is easy enough to set up, Microsoft Teams requires jumping through a few more hoops.
It’s a similar case with inviting team members onto the respective platforms. Again, Slack makes this process easy, but Microsoft Teams requires adding people to the Office 365 Admin Panel. After that, they get a registration email, log in, change their password, and then have to be manually added to the team. It’s not an overly complicated process but is time-consuming and unnecessary.
The layouts for the two collaboration apps are pretty similar in look and feel. Both have a contacts panel to the left, and conversations take up most of the screen.
Slack and Microsoft Teams are popular for a very good reason – they’re both great apps. Either could be the right choice for a team wanting to work together, but the two apps do cater to slightly different needs.