Apparently, Microsoft Teams was not supposed to be in existence. It was developed by happenstance. Microsoft founder and CEO, Bill Gates had a meeting with Satya Nadella in 2016 to discuss the acquisition of Slack the King of the chat app space.
However, the meeting didn’t turn out as expected because Gates and Nadella decided to create their own chat app instead of buying Slack. Following the meeting, Microsoft Teams was launched into the market in November of 2016. Since its inception, Microsoft Teams boasts over 13 million active users daily. Not only does this make the move Bill Gates entirely made a right one, but it has also given Slack a tough competition.
In the past five years, there have been numerous arguments about the best chat app tool for workspaces. And this is why we have gone through thorough research to compare the two. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to determine which is best according to your taste.
Quick Overview Of Slack And Microsoft Teams
To the untrained eyes, Slack and Microsoft Teams are the same thing but they have several differences. One of the most distinct differences between the two is their setup, Slack is easier to set up and administrate. The ease of use that Slack offers may make many think it is better than Microsoft Team in all ramifications at first glance.
Still, Microsoft Teams was specifically built for larger firms which explains why its setup is more difficult when compared to Slack. The fact that Microsoft Teams is built for large firms is a no-brainer. Bill Gates already owns one of the world’s largest corporations, so he must have been thinking from that perspective during the development of Microsoft Teams.
Comparing Slack vs Microsoft Teams
In this article, we will look at different parts of Slack and Microsoft Teams ranging from the prices to the user interface and many others.
Slack vs Microsoft Teams Pricing
Microsoft Teams and Slack have free plans but it is advised to get a paid plan if you want to get the best performances from both tools. A paid plan in Microsoft Teams is either a business premium or an essentials account.
The most affordable and preferred Microsoft office paid plan is called the business essentials account. Users get to pay $5 monthly but the catch is that you have to pay annually at that rate, it’s a pretty good deal if you have the cash.
The cheapest plan Slack offers is their standard which costs $6 monthly when users pay annually.
As far as pricing is concerned, several users prefer Microsoft Team’s $5 plan because it grants access to office 365. The augmented plans in Microsoft Teams and Slack are the same price, users can get this upgraded (augmented from $5 and $6 respectively) plan for $12.50 monthly.
Getting Started With Slack and Microsoft
It has been mentioned that Microsoft Teams is complex to set up and administer so it’s best to be patient and have long endurance to use.
Microsoft Teams is built for large firms so it requires a lot of personal data during the sign-up process regardless of your plan. Yes, it doesn’t matter if you are using a paid plan or not. You have to pass through the same process. You have to give your credit card details and emails, and your business emails. Your personal emails won’t be accepted.
After registering on Microsoft Teams successfully, you get automatic access to the tool’s team deployment advisor. The team advisor is a compulsory stage that contains several hurdles which you are mandated to go through before the application starts. It’s quite tedious, I’m stressed just typing all of that.
The next stage after that is getting to your admin panel where the app can be launched. However, you must be careful on this screen because it comes with so much, you will feel a strong urge to click random tabs and boxes, don’t. Finally, you will get to the Microsoft Teams desktop app where you can start collaborating.
Slack, on the other hand, is quite easy and quick to set up and use than Microsoft Teams. In addition, the tool does not need your personal information in the sign-up stage. And if you hate the credit card bit about the Microsoft Teams registration process, then you’d love to know that Slack does not need that information too except, of course, you want to pay for a plan.
The average new user spends about seven minutes completing the sign-up process on Slack as opposed to spending an hour on Microsoft Teams.
Invitations on Slack vs Microsoft Teams
Just like everything else, inviting people to Slack is a pretty easy process. After successfully completing your registration, you will be offered to invite people to your workspace by the app. However, it is not mandatory because you can invite them later with the “invite people” tab.
Getting new people on Microsoft Teams is a little bit harder than the Slack mentioned above. This is because people have to be added to the admin panel of Office 365 first from the start page of the Office.
After the user has been added to the Admin panel, they will be notified about their registration via email. Next, the invited user has to change their password and they will need to log in to do this. All of that has to be done before they can be added to the Microsoft Teams app.
At this point, you probably think that everything about Microsoft Teams takes time but that’s not the case because it doesn’t take long to get started and invite users to your team chat app. It’s basically a breeze so you can rest easy on this one.
Microsoft Teams and Slack both have group chat functionality, standard private chat, and threaded messaging. In addition, messaging on both tools has several features like deleting, editing, mentioning someone, file sharing, pinning messages, starting a new thread, and many others.
The only distinct difference both tools have is that Microsoft Teams is equipped with advanced formatting for the messages. This is expected because Microsoft word is prominent for its advanced and numerous formats.
Apart from the formatting, Microsoft Team gives you the option of sending gif images and even emojis. And locating the appropriate emoji or gif is pretty easy, all you need to do is type the name of the gif and or emoji and it just pops up. Amazing, isn’t it?
Slack may not have as many messaging features as Microsoft Team but it has a few interesting ones, you can like someone’s message, react with an emoji, and set reminders on messages.
As far as notifications are concerned, Slack and Microsoft Teams have impeccable notification systems that can be set up to fit your preference.
Slack vs Microsoft Teams Threads
The importance of threads during communication can not be overemphasized. They allow a clear communication process and ensure a single conversation has organized replies.
Creating a thread in Microsoft Teams is pretty easy, all you need to do is click “reply” on the message you wish to create the thread under. You can follow the threads by labeling a certain message with a star, pinning it, or you can follow it through the “all threads” tab. Threads can only be used in channels in Teams, they are not applicable for private conversations.
File Sharing And Collaborations
If you already have a favorite at this point, which you probably do, it is important to know that Slack has an uploading size limit of 1GB. In comparison, Microsoft Teams has a limit of 15GB, do with that what you wish. However, collaborating in Microsoft Teams is pretty easy. When we uploaded an 800MB video on the tool, it opened instantaneously but played within Teams which was quite impressive.
Slack is quite different. To get a video to play, you have to download it.
On the other hand, you would have to download a video to play in Slack. As far as I and a host of many other people know, collaboration can watch a video with my colleagues simultaneously while chatting. Slack cannot do that, meanwhile, in Microsoft Teams you can comment and play videos simultaneously. You also have the option of working together on OneDrive and Office documents without exiting the app.
Slack’s paid plan gives you 10GB or 20GB in storage limits while the free plan gives you 5GB for each user respectively. So the structure is a little bit different in Teams.
Video calls in Microsoft Teams are pretty smooth, the visual is top-notch while the sound quality is pretty sharp. Users have the option of switching from instant messaging to video or audio calls just by the push of a button. Video calls on Teams can also be recorded for reference purposes. This is a nice touch since the tool was meant for firms and most of the chats and calls are for business purposes.
Slack allows you to talk to one person at a time via video call on the free plan, the paid plan allows you to talk to fifteen people simultaneously. This sounds fantastic until you realize that Microsoft Teams paid plans gives you access to over 200 people at the same time via video call.
Integrations With Slack vs Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is a Microsoft product so it’s a no-brainer that integrates seamlessly with Office 365. Connecting with Teams will be a breeze for you if you work frequently with OneNote, SharePoint, Planner, or Power BI. Apart from Microsoft apps, Teams can integrate with third-party apps, as a matter-of-fact Teams has almost three hundred integrations.
That number sounds amazing right, well Slack has almost a thousand integrations. Again, you can do with this information what you please
This is a critical aspect, but before we get into the thick of things, you should know that both tools are not equipped with built-in task management. Slack is equipped with actions that you can create tasks with and complete without exiting the app but this function can only be accessed via integrations. I guess that may not be much of a problem since Slack has almost a thousand of them. The function is near-identical in Microsoft Teams, tasks on Teams can be managed with Planner.
Help And Support
Another critical aspect is that everyone looks out for help and support in any tool, software, and application. Regardless of how seemingly flawless it is built, there are times when a glitch will happen. If a glitch does not happen, you will have difficulties doing things and will need immediate help. So help and support are quite vital. If you have been having trouble deciding the best tool up till this point, this aspect should be able to split your decision right down the middle. At least I hope it does.
To effectively explain the importance of help and support (in case it was not clear in the paragraph above) let’s work with a scenario that is likely to happen:
If you decide to delete a channel in Teams or Slack and you have no idea how it is done, what would be the outcome if you seek help?
In Microsoft Teams, the simplest “route” to get help is via their application known as “T-Bot” it’s short for Teams robot. After signing into the application, it automatically appears in your chats tab. Go there and insert “delete a channel”, you will get the appropriate instructions on how to do it.
In Slack, the simplest “route” is utilizing their Help Centre, all you need to do when you get there is to type “delete” and you get all the appropriate answers. The process is quite seamless.
The quickest way to get help and support whether you use Microsoft Teams or Slack is by going to google and typing what you need, you can even use YouTube for visual help. You will certainly get your answer immediately.
Slack vs Microsoft Teams Conclusion
Microsoft Teams and Slack are very similar in their functions and it has led to confusion as to which is better since the inception of Teams.
As this article has proven, both tools have areas where they shine distinctively so it is unfair to pick anyone as the best.
However, we are certain that you already know the one you prefer based on your team and firm, if you have a small firm then you will gravitate towards Slack, and you will certainly prefer Microsoft Teams if you have a large firm.