back to article Only EU can help us, pleads Slack as it slings competition complaint against Microsoft Teams

From the department of "if you can't beat 'em..." comes the inevitable sueball slung by Slack over Microsoft's bundling of Teams into its Office behemoth. A competition complaint has been filed against Microsoft before the European Commission. Microsoft's collaboration platform, Teams, has been enjoying impressive growth, …

  1. wolfetone Silver badge

    I hate to say this, but the Microsoft Teams product is better than the Slack offering. And to be honest, if an organisation is paying for an Office 365 license anyway, why would they want to use Slack for another cost?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Which product had more bells and whistles is irrelevant. Bundling teams in with office is killing any competition and MSFT is using its dominant position to kill off slack.

      Unfortunately it’s not just office and teams. It’s also azure and hybrid use benefit (always makes me chuckle how they call it a benefit when you end up loosing 60% of the licences you bought).

      Msft hasn’t changed, they have rebranded

      1. gobaskof

        Slackbot is the worst

        The fact that instant messaging platforms wont talk to each other is the problem here. Email or telephone, give your details and use what you want. Messaging becomes the eternal Slack/Teams/WhatsApp/Riot/Telegram/Facebook-messenger/etc/etc debate.

        We use Teams at work. It is frustrating, and sort of bad (why are there so many ways to start a meeting? why can't people find it, is it in the calendar, or the team, or the chat?).

        Slack, however is an abomination. Every new collaboration that adds you to a slack needs a new account. You end up with 45 accounts, and end up in a perpetual war trying to turn slack bot off in every single slack instance. Then someone adds a Google calendar integration to slack and you can't turn it off without deleting it for everyone, so you get a daily personal message from a google calendars bot telling you that your calendar is empty because you don't use google Calendar.

        Teams is annoying, but I would rather use a sodding carrier pigeon the have to join another Slack instance. Sue Microsoft, but the result should be that all IM platforms should make a protocol so they work together, preferably a protocol that is incompatible with the very concept of that Clippy-for-Slack stupid bot.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Slackbot is the worst

          Whatever. They shouldn’t lump teams in with office to try and kill slack. It’s uncompetitive.

          1. DavCrav

            Re: Slackbot is the worst

            "They shouldn’t lump teams in with office to try and kill slack."

            They don't need to. Slack is shit.

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: Slackbot is the worst

              Teams is shit too, but even so, if you lump Teams with Office for free you kill off Slack and any other kind of collaborative IM tool.

              Have we forgotten IE already?

              1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

                Re: Slackbot is the worst

                Bundling Teams with Office doesn't force people to use it. If Slack really is better than Teams, it should be able to stand on its own.

                Used both, not a great fan of either. I'd say equally irritating to use, just in different ways.

                1. Phones Sheridan Bronze badge

                  Re: Slackbot is the worst

                  "doesn't force people to use it."

                  I wasn't asked to install it, nor did I set it to auto start, but one day it suddenly appeared, and opened itself up on everyone's machines as they started their PC in the morning.

                  1. Adair Silver badge

                    Re: Slackbot is the worst

                    That's what you get when you have a software 'bundle'. Can you turn it off? If so then turn it off. If you can't, and you don't want to use it, then don't use it.

                    I've got little patience with MS at the best of times, but they are quite entitled to do what they've done. If 'you' don't like what they've done, don't use their shit, it's not as though there aren't alternatives. And there are perfectly viable alternatives, however much the whiny brigade whine.

                    The fact is, far too many of us want to have our cake and eat it. We want it for free, but we want it the way we want it. We pay for it, and we still want it exactly the way we want it. Change is possible, but we don't do change here. We prefer whining about how unfair it all is, that we can't have what we want, when we want it.

                    Do it yourself then? Hell no, that looks like hard work, much easier to whine.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Slackbot is the worst

                      >> Can you turn it off? If so then turn it off. If you can't, and you don't want to use it, then don't use it.

                      Exactly, and that is the problem. M$ is bundling Teams with Office, starting it on login in background (resources drain), and counting your background task as an active user - whereas I can't really disable this behavior easily for the thousands of PCs I admin. So my company generates thousands of "users" for M$, while we're not allowed to buy a product that we might like more BECAUSE A FREE CLONE IS ALREADY GIVEN TO US.

                      This way, M$ puts organizations into an impossible situation when it comes to budgeting - this kind of behavior and its consequences are the very definition of uncompetitive business practices.

                      It's like they haven't learned anything from the 90s antitrust case that the US led (and won) against them... history repeats simply because we forget.

                    3. Robert Grant Silver badge

                      Re: Slackbot is the worst

                      We want it for free, but we want it the way we want it.

                      No, I don't want it free. I'm not a fool.

                2. Robert Grant Silver badge

                  Re: Slackbot is the worst

                  Bundling Teams with Office doesn't force people to use it. If Slack really is better than Teams, it should be able to stand on its own.

                  Read the article. The problem is that MS are "giving away" Teams as part of an Office licence, for now, to strangle Slack.

                  1. Daz555

                    Re: Slackbot is the worst

                    They also "give away" Outlook, Excel, Powerpoint and ton of other apps, It's a bundle. Surely that's the point.

                    What makes Slack so special in this regard - why do they deserve special protection with regards to the products MS decides to include in its various licencing bundle?

                  2. martynhare

                    Re: Slackbot is the worst

                    They’re giving it away without an Office licence too. It’s a free service that’s independent of Office 365 but can integrate with it. You don’t need to buy it and the free version existed before bundling with the office suite happened IIRC. Microsoft also had explosive growth prior to the bundling.

                    This means Slack don’t really have a leg to stand on. They need to prove that the bundling harmed them but there’s no evidence it did given pre-bundling growth. They also need to prove the free version (which is also intended for personal use) competes in the same sector and is essentially the same product (as MS pointed out, it’s audio/video orientated, not text-orientated).

                3. Jon 37

                  Re: Slackbot is the worst

                  The options are:

                  * Pay for Office and Slack, don't use the bundled Teams

                  * Just pay for Office, use the bundled Teams.

                  Why pay for Slack when we have Teams already? So long as Teams is "good enough", it wins simply because Microsoft have a monopoly on business word processors, spreadsheets and presentation software (Word/Excel/Powerpoint).

                  If Microsoft sold Teams as a separate product, then that would be different - they could compete with Slack on their merits.

                  (The free Slack isn't suitable for heavy use, the history gets too short as the volume of messages increases. Which, I'm sure, is by design - Slack has to make money somehow, if everyone just used the free version they'd go bankrupt).

                  1. BrownishMonstr

                    Re: Slackbot is the worst

                    Our team is using, er, Teams* on the free-tier. We were using the free-tier Slack prior to WFH, however we needed the conferencing abilities that Free-Slack didn't provide (yes, we're freetards). As we are a financial company, BYOD is against company's policy so WFH is new for most of the team, as most don't have a company laptop.

                    Slack does feel more polished, or equally polished in a different way. But then my perception of Teams might just be having to work via Remote Desktop.

                    * See what I did there(?). Yes, fuck all, actually.

                4. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Slackbot is the worst

                  They used the same argument for IE...

              2. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: Slackbot is the worst

                >if you lump Teams with Office for free you kill off Slack and any other kind of collaborative IM tool.

                Have we forgotten IE already?

                Just another effect of the walled garden.

                However, yes, it probably is time for the EU to investigate whether MS, are abusing their market dominate positions in the business office desktop (local/cloud) applications space.

              3. keith_w

                Re: Slackbot is the worst

                "Have we forgotten IE already?"

                And how has that worked out for MS. PS, yes, most have forgotten IE, since we switched to Edge. :)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Slackbot is the worst

          > Every new collaboration that adds you to a slack needs a new account. You end up with 45 accounts, and end up in a perpetual war trying to turn slack bot off in every single slack instance

          Teams is exactly the same! Each time I need to collaborate with a vendor they add me to their ‘Teams’ instance as a guest.

          But instead of getting notifications from every ‘team’, I only get them from the currently selected team, and to my co-workers I appear as ‘away‘. So I’m left with a choice-work with the supplier, and be uncontactable by my colleagues, or work with my colleagues and be uncontactable by the supplier.

          We gave up and just phoned each other.

          Other colleagues not in the IT department end up unable to use teams because they don’t know this has happened or how to switch back.

          1. gobaskof

            Re: Slackbot is the worst

            > Teams is exactly the same! Each time I need to collaborate with a vendor they add me to their ‘Teams’ instance as a guest.

            Agreed, we run a network collaboration on teams and everyone outside our organisation is a second class citizen on it. A lot of people are setting up WhatsApp groups. The whole ChatApp landscape seems to be companies competing to be the worst. And the business ones seem to be very confused by the concept of collaborations.

            I still hate slack more.

        3. anothercynic Silver badge

          Re: Slackbot is the worst

          Your complaint about Slack's issues echoes my own. And there's no way to delete your account when you leave a project and you won't use that Slack account ever again.

          Slack had great IRC protocol integration. They turned it off. Enough said.

      2. JimboSmith Silver badge

        What annoys me about Teams is that I'm contacted by Microsoft on my corporate email. Somebody posts something in one particular one of my teams and I get an email "Your teammates are trying to reach you in Microsoft Teams" and then lists the contents. I know they are because I've seen the post(s) on Teams I don't need an email telling me. It also tells me I should install Teams and offers links to the Android and IOS versions. I wouldn't mind quite so much but I've already got the Android version installed

        Also I was added to one team with one of my private email accounts as a guest because it's mostly contractors on that team. I tried to add myself on the app via the guest account using the invite. I got a message saying I couldn't be a guest in my own corporation. So I got the team admin to add me subsequently using my corporate email. Still have the guest listed in my orgs though and can't delete it. All bloody annoying.

        1. BrownishMonstr

          I think the organiser has to remove you--at a guess, anyway.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: Which product had more bells and whistles is irrelevant.

        OP claimed Teams was better, not that it had more bells and whistles. Slack's weird screen windowing behaviour is nothing to do with bells and whistles, it's basic Windows integration.

        1. BrownishMonstr

          Re: re: Which product had more bells and whistles is irrelevant.

          I thought the issue was with electron---but I could be wrong. Am I wrong?

    2. gerdesj Silver badge

      In liberal democracy ...

      ... Teams install you.

      The sodding thing installs itself whether you want it or not and so does that fucking file sync thing they do. Don't say it's name three times because you'll summon it.

      That's surely a move towards the definition of anti-competitive:

      We installed other stuff and shoved it in your face when you installed a product you bought from us

      lol laters

    3. macjules

      Agree, but Slack does have its uses, provided that do not need video or (TBH) audio conferencing thrown in. Slack's webhooks are easier to implement than Teams and Teams also has an issue where updates can throw out your channel hook scripts: meaning that you have to rewrite them.

      As a way of avoiding Teams then Slack combined with Hangouts works quite well I find.

    4. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

      Agreed Teams is better than Slack

      More to the point, Slack has no IP. Instant messaging has been around for decades. Virtual meetings/video calls have been around for decades. Cloud storage has been around for decades under various names. There's really no aspect of Slack or Teams that is original. Slack built a business model on software that bundled a bunch of old concepts. BFD is Microsoft did the same, only better.

    5. John Robson Silver badge

      "I hate to say this, but the Microsoft Teams product is better than the Slack offering. And to be honest, if an organisation is paying for an Office 365 license anyway, why would they want to use Slack for another cost?"

      That's the whole point of determining the behaviour to be anticompetitive.

      If teams *is* better, then they should be able to charge for it as a standalone product (or at least have it as an optional extra on the subscription - there is no need to not have the possible benefits of integration).

      I find Slack does very well for my use case, I have a couple of integrations which mean that most of my day is spent with slack on one monitor, telling me about updates to tickets, booked meetings etc...

      I virtually never log into email or calendar apps, because I don't need to. I'm always logged into to the ticketing system, but slack gives me a good feed of when there are tickets I need to check back on - without being distracting of the work I am doing on another ticket at the time.

  2. sorry, what?


    jawed that anyone would use Slack. My experience of it was at least 3 years back, so it may have improved, but at the time it was rubbish. Especially around attachments like images, for example.

    That said, I also don't use MS Teams.

    1. Peter-Waterman1

      Re: Slack...

      Really? That’s totally a contradiction to my experience

    2. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: Slack...

      How else are you supposed to send pictures of cats to your colleagues?

  3. karlkarl Silver badge

    I don't get it. IRC servers aren't whining and they have been around years before slack and likely years after.

    If Slack is dying, they can do so with dignity. Likewise I hope Microsoft teams will do the same.

  4. TS15

    Slack... pricing is a problem

    We, like many other smallish organisations I'd imagine, were quite happily using Slack's free tier prior to COVID-19 coming along.

    With an overnight switch to fully remote working, we had an immediate need for easy to use video calling and small group video collaboration plus screen sharing etc.. all the useful bits that Slack rolls into their "Standard" tier.

    Faced with needing to jump up a tier and start paying for it, we inevitably had a look around at the alternatives and quickly realised that we could roll out Teams, complete with all the bells & whistles we needed, for the princely sum of about £2 per seat on top of our existing Office365 / Exchange seats - or indeed free for a year under MS's Teams Exploratory Experience licence compared to an additional £5.25 per seat for Slack.

    Simple choice really... the "pain" of switching collaboration tools was non-existent and I have to say, especially for a MS product, we've been pretty surprised at how well Teams has largely "just worked" and tied into existing accounts via Azure AD for a simple end-user experience.

    Assuming we're not the only organisation around that needed to fix an unexpected urgent need for collaboration, discovering that Teams filling a Slack sized hole pretty effectively, well... maybe the time is ripe for change.

    1. gobaskof

      Re: Slack... pricing is a problem

      Not a chance I would pay £5.25 for slack, however for some collaborations I am in I would seriously consider paying someone £5.25 of my own personal money for us to move off slack to anything where I can silence all the god-damn bots.

      Getting an email to go view a direct message that is just Clippy-for-Slack wasting your time. Either turn all email notification off, or expect to git harassed by any Bot that someone install into the hellscape that is Slack.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Slack... pricing is a problem

        That's pretty much what does Teams as well, only fewer people have discovered Teams' bots because they don't work properly (couldn't get Jenkins, Jira, or even RSS integration to work).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Slack... pricing is a problem

      Glad it worked for you, but my wife and her colleagues have been utterly frustrated by her organisation's roll-out of Teams. Many of the comments above ring true, particularly about the confusion trying to set up meetings and the utter mess if you are part of two or more groups, each of which uses Teams independently with all the email and calendar-ing (is that a word?) issues others have outlined. In fact it became so bad that for their last get-together, one of her groups dropped Teams and switched to Zoom. Not ideal, but "it just worked".

  5. ovation1357

    I would very much love to see Slack win this case. It's absolutely the typical kind of abominable behaviour that we've seen from Microsoft in the past..

    I know folks who think Teams is utterly brilliant but in my experience it's a terrible piece of software - a poor clone of superior products like Slack and Zoom.

    Personally I've been using Slack for about 3 years and I've found it to be well polished and pretty nice to use. I've certainly had none of the problems commented above about attaching images or documents - that works as smoothly as everything else. I'm on the free tier and used 1-to-1 video calling for the first time the other day which was so seamless and good that I've used it a few times since. The chat in Teams is nothing more than a cheap knock-off copy of Slack - it can't even handle basic word-wrapping and it's code blocks look horrible. It also can't handle connection problems gracefully - if for whatever reason a message fails to send then it not only doesn't automatically retry but it also may never succeed using the retry button unless you delete the whole message and write it again. If it decides you've got not internet connection then you have to kill the whole application and restart it to get back 'online'.

    For video conferencing Zoom is king and it knocks the spots off of Teams in terms of reliability, quality and really flexible screen sharing. Not only does Teams still have very limited display options for multiple participants but it suffers badly from dropouts, and very laggy/spongy screen sharing and remote control.

    It's still got an infuriating bug where the mute button gets out of sync with an official "Teams" USB headset and shows you as unmuted when you're actually muted or simply won't unmute at all - I've had numerous calls when everyone's shouting "you're on mute!" at me (or some other poor sod), and I am / they are pressing the effin' button with no effect :-(

    It seemingly can't even handle scheduling properly - I had a connectivity issue the other day which first meant 3 that I had to lose my pending changes twice whilst restarting it but then when I 'successfully' scheduled the meeting I discovered the next day that it had randomly done it in a different timezone so my participants thought it was an hour later than I'd scheduled... I just simply don't have any of these problems with other software.

    So I sincerely hope that Microsoft are forced to unbundle this horrible piece of junkware by the EU courts so there's at least a chance that companies can discover that there are superior products out there; AND that there is nothing wrong with using separate applications if they're all excellent at their function when compared to a single 'integrated' tool which does everything badly.

    The only positive thing I can say about Teams is that it has a Linux client (which ironically works better than the Windows one) although Slack and Zoom also have native Linux clients. This at least gives me a little bit more flexibility and control when I have to use it.

  6. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Teams' Architecture

    If you peer under the surface of Teams you'll find that Teams is just a thin warpper around existing MS products.

    "Team": An Office 365 group.

    Chat? That's Exchange email messages.

    Files? That's Sharepoint.

    Joint doucment editing? Sharepoint.

    Voice/Video callings? That's a re-re-re-implementation of the Office Connect product.

    Planner? Exchange tasks.

    Calendar? Exchange calendar.

    So Teams is less a "product" and more an illusion. This is all in published MS documents.

    1. Youngone Silver badge

      Re: Teams' Architecture

      I was going to comment sarcastically some thing like:

      A Microsoft spokesperson commented to El Reg: "We created Teams "We purchased Skype to combine the ability to collaborate with the ability to connect via video, because that’s what people want.

      Because that's what they did in 2011. Then they ignored it until competition appeared.

      As is tradition.

      1. Sandtitz Silver badge

        Re: Teams' Architecture

        "We purchased Skype to combine the ability to collaborate with the ability to connect via video, because that’s what people want. Because that's what they did in 2011."

        Microsoft has had Skype for Business (formerly called Lync, before that LCS) from waaay before they bought Skype. Teams is not a new iteration of Skype or S4B, it is (as already mentioned) mostly an amalgam of existing O365 technologies.

        "Then they ignored it until competition appeared. As is tradition."

        I agree.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Slack threatened Microsoft's hold on business email"

    The only thing that threatens Microsoft is Microsoft's inability to get its shit together and write good code that works reliably. And even a string of borking updates has not dented Borkzilla's stranglehold on the business market, not to mention the private market which is nowhere near ready to jump ship to Linux (or anything else for that matter).

    Borkzilla has been surfing on its Office empire since that became a thing. The only thing that keeps Borkzilla around is Excel, and one has to tip one's hat to that damn fine piece of software and its continuous additions that make it unrivaled and clearly top of the heap.

    Anyone who thinks he is a threat to Borkzilla needs to go and take a long, hard look at the difference between his bank statements and Borkzilla's.

    1. NetBlackOps

      Re: "Slack threatened Microsoft's hold on business email"

      I'm still waiting for an Outlook replacement that works similar to Outlook, probably better would be nice, and follows its damn manual. The other side, Exchange, is another issue, just not mine. I haven't used Excel in ages, but understand that desire.

      1. NE-bot

        Re: "Slack threatened Microsoft's hold on business email"

        I find EM Client is pretty close - enough like Outlook that it could be an ugprade. It's also paid-for which should assure it's continuity.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Slack threatened Microsoft's hold on business email"

      Nothing threatens MS because the people buying the tools aren’t the ones having to use them.

    3. Paradroid

      Re: "Slack threatened Microsoft's hold on business email"

      Sadly true. Slightly off topic but I've got a 365 subscription and thought it would make sense to use it for personal email instead of the always-watching Gmail. Spent hours migrating all my data across to Email was great, but I then discovered that contact management is completely broken - uploading images doesn't work properly via any app or even the web site. Investigated and it's been like this a long time apparently.

      Their lack of care over any software product that isn't the absolute most important thing strategically at any given moment is a cause of so much hassle to their users.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The issue here is if MS be allowed to destroy the little fish so as to steal the market

    Not really that interested in either product but historically if MS is allowed to take control of a market then, I would guess, that it will not be long before the stuff currently bundled for free suddenly becomes chargeable with the price only increasing (subscription and slurp) once there is no longer any alternative.

    Monopoly laws are supposed to prevent one company taking complete control of a market and here I have to agree with the whiny slack guy MS need to be limited to retain choice, it doesn't have to be slack but it shouldn't be MS or nothing.

    The guy posting how great he thinks excel is clearly wasn't around before MS were allowed to kill off the other office products (via dirty tricks) that used to be available, some of which are still better and cheaper than MS offerings. Thus shouting that excel is the best spreadsheet when there is no longer another product you can buy instead is not something you should be happy to shout about unless OFC you are are shill.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: The issue here is if MS be allowed to destroy the little fish so as to steal the market

      I'm old enough remember both 123 and visicalc (although that only very faintly)

      I'm not saying that losing those was a good thing, but of all the tools available now... excel is the only MS product that I occasionally wish I had installed (then again I've managed since ~ the introduction of the ribbon, so it can't be that important to me)

  9. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    the market has embraced Teams

    The "E" word is a shot across the bows at Slack, maybe?

    Just remember what else "E" stands for.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Same old MS

    Standard fare for MS, not sure why we are surprised. They've got Satya at the helm to give a more friendly 'we are the food guys' face, but they haven't changed in the slightest. They continue to abuse their dominant position in the OS and Office market to attempt to kill off competition, so which is the better product is irrelevant if choice is removed.

    MS have not created a single innovative product on their own - they either copy an existing product from a competitor or buy the company, and then kill the competition. Having friendly Uncle Satya front the org has not changed this behaviour in the slightest, just given it a 'less scary than Balmer' PR man.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Same old MS

      Of course you're right. There's no way someone who makes a suite of office programs should be able to include a chat client in there, integrated with the rest of it. What customer would want that when they can have the freedom to choose between loads of slightly different products that don't integrate with their office suite and all have subtle, non-standard Windows behaviours (because we all know how to do it better than Windows!)

      Those MS bastards!

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Diogenes8080

      Re: Same old MS

      Thinking back to the browser wars, which ironically Microsoft appear to have finally lost with the adoption of Chromium "Edge", one of the arguments was that they were cross-subsidizing IE development with Office revenues.

      Before that we had grumblings that Office enjoyed unfair access to the undocumented lower levels of Windows which its erstwhile competitors did not.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Same old MS

        "Office enjoyed unfair access to the undocumented lower levels of Windows "...

        i.e. they plugged their pipe in after the u-bend, not before...

  11. RyokuMas

    Not exactly surprising reading...

    So someone sues Microsoft and immediately we have the usual accusations of "monopoly abuse" being flung about...

    Personally, I hate the idea of monopolies... politics and everything else aside, they create an environment that is hostile to innovation - IE6, I'm looking at you here! But having made the jump from Slack to Teams (thanks to a buy-out and corporate decision), I have to agree that Slack simply did not offer the facilities a lot of people required in order to operate in the COVID-19 environment at a competing price.

    Whether that was a deliberate decision, or that they have no choice due to their size versus the of Microsoft is not really relevant here; as I established some time ago when I was still making mobile games and apps, unless there is some killer feature they require, people will always go for what is cheapest. Zoom is proof enough of this - free video conferencing at just the time it was needed most have definitely pushed it into a "king" position, and (as far as I'm aware) there's no word of them suing Microsoft for anti-competitive behaviour.

    Yes, I fully acknowledge that Microsoft have previously exhibited very dubious practices, and indeed continue to do so - while I loathe the way privacy has become part and parcel of life on the web, to bake it into an actual operating system is an entirely different level of evil - but in this instance, I can't help but think that this boils down to sour grapes on the part of Slack.

    And as for all those commenting on here about monopoly abuse... how many of you own Android phones and use the browser that came bundled with the phone when you got it? Just sayin'...

    1. MisterHappy

      Re: Not exactly surprising reading...

      100% agree with your last point, I have not heard anything about Opera being the only browser that comes pre-installed on an iPhone either.

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Not exactly surprising reading...

        "100% agree with your last point, I have not heard anything about Opera being the only browser that comes pre-installed on an iPhone either."

        Do you mean Safari?

        It's worse than that on iPhone... you can't install an alternate rendering engine at all, so even other browsers use the same render engine, just different syncing of bookmarks etc.

        1. MisterHappy

          Re: Not exactly surprising reading...

          Yes I meant Safari, thanks.

  12. minnsey231

    Feel for Slack but impressed by Teams

    We use Slack at work, have done for a few years, and I have no complaints but I have been really impressed with how our local school has used Teams for remote learning during lockdown.

    I don't know how furiously the IT swans were paddling below the surface but the speed that school got up and running with organised rooms for each year, subject and class etc was really impressive. Nothing against the local teachers but I wouldn't have classed them as unusually tech savvy but very quickly there were proper Assignments in the rooms for the kids, that could be seamlessly opened, edited and submitted in the browser or popping out to desktop installs of Office.

    And it was all simple enough that bunch of 11 to 16 years old just "got it" they didn't need 'training' it was intuitive and it just worked.

    So don't stifle competition, but its my impression that Slack also need to up their game to compete in that 'it just works' world.

  13. Paradroid

    Just because you don't like Slack...

    doesn't mean they don't have a valid complaint here. Most of the complaints about Slack on this thread sound like issues with how it's being used, like too many integrations/bots etc being set up.

    Slack's words about how Microsoft want all of the pie and don't even want to share a small part of it ring very true to me. Microsoft have been weird about Teams from the start - take a look at the promo video they put out a few years back which was an embarrassing clone of one by Slack a few months earlier. They're paranoid that Slack might take over communication that previously went through Outlook and leave Microsoft diminished in some way.

  14. Lars Silver badge

    What we need is a good open source and free version for anybody to use.

    1. AlbertH

      Perhaps we have....

      What we need is a good open source and free version for anybody to use.

      Google Duo is pretty good as a video telephone application, and handles poor internet connections (like from mobile phones) more gracefully than all the others. It also seems to manage to compress the video data very effectively, so that it uses about half the bandwidth of Skype whilst maintaining the same (or better) video quality.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Teams is a terrible product...

    ...but does its success mean that Slack is even worse? Or is the price right? Or is Gates' obvious pact with satan still running well?

  16. Chronos

    All this fuss

    ...and it's really just blinged-up IRC. They'll be flinging sueballs at anyone using four twisted pairs in a PVC jacket if someone doesn't slap these numpties with a cluebat poste-haste.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: All this fuss

      Yes it's all blinged up IRC...

      but it's that bling which is being protected by this sueball... Of course that protection won't kick in until slack is six feet under.

      It would be good if the courts could look and say "Yep -you actually need to bill for your applications in a reasonable way".

      MS would be perfectly at liberty to discount the rest of the office swamp to put teams in, but not to push it as an update... and customers should have the choice of what they pay for...

  17. CynicalOptimist

    The most annoying thing about Teams is its name.. the application is called Teams and the 'groups' within it are called a Team. I regularly have conversations along the lines of: "Have you joined the X Team on Teams? And if you're talking about some group within your organisation, like a project team - you have to ask "does your team have a team in teams that I should join?"

    1. jelabarre59

      And if you're talking about some group within your organisation, like a project team - you have to ask "does your team have a team in teams that I should join?"

      So you could say it's team-ing with problems?

  18. Jason Hindle

    The real argument in favour of Teams...

    Microsoft's bundling of messaging into the corporate MS Office Product probably pre-dates Slack. It started with Lync, which could have been shat out by the devil himself. Lync was Antichrist of messaging product. Lync then evolved into Skype for business, which was far more Lync than Skype. Teams then replaced Skype for business.

    My point? Microsoft has had a product embedded in the business I work for, for a long time, and Teams simply replaced it. The difference? Prior to Teams, the engineers circumvented Skype for business, using consumer Skype, Google Hangouts* and even small scale Slack. Whereas Teams is something everyone actually wants to use and finds useful. I don't think there was ever any prospect of the business buying into Slack in the first place; I think that applies to a lot of longstanding corporate Office customers.

    * And don't get me started with Google. They should be a leader, but their messaging strategy is a mess. They should be front and centre in education in particular, yet Microsoft is taking that business off them by doing exactly nothing in particular.

  19. jelabarre59

    but the API

    I'd beel a little more sympathy for Slack if they were a little more open on THEIR end. Quite simply, the UI for Slack is shit. For IRC (and Sametime, back when I had occasion to use that) I could have it write the channel traffic to log files. If I needed to look up old information, a simple Grep would often find what I needed.

    Slack? No, sorry, you need to use our crap search that really can't find anything. Scrolling back? Yeah, maybe a day or two, then it ****SLOWLY**** has to retrieve one more day's logs at a time. If you didn't paste some useful tidbit right then, it's lost forever.

    They ONCE had an API so you could have maybe had the chance to make a better front-end, but they killed that one right off. You can make add-ins, but you have to run them WITHIN their crap interface.

    And let's not forget the abomination known as "Threads". Makes it impossible to follow the flow of a discussion when it makes you open a buttload of sub-threads which you cave to move back & forth between, losing the full flow. Properly there should be a way to flatten those threads, but Slack thinks you shouldn't be allowed to make it work with your own workflow.

    And the notification sounds? You can't add your own custom ones, which means that since their built-in ones are nearly inaudible, if you have bad hearing you can never hear them.

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