09 Nov Microsoft Teams is a bit like Kim Jong Un in skinny jeans
I have a pair of skinny jeans.They’re made out of a stretchy sort of denim that allows me to aggressively thrust my legs in them as the material moulds around my podgy thighs and unreasonably plump calves.
Despite these jeans being created solely for the purpose of allowing rotund gentlemen such as myself to be part of the underground Shoreditch poetry scene, the fact remains that I still look like a whale in a condom when I wear them.
This is how I feel about Microsoft Teams. It’s the stretchy skinny jeans of the collaboration tool world, except that it’s left out the collaboration bit.
Slack has, rightly, been adopted by agile, nimble organisations that use a plethora of online programmes to effectively run their organisation. Slack does what these businesses need. It provides a simple interface for communication, while being overly democratic in allowing third party applications to plugin. So from Google Docs to Trello, Slack can bring all of these applications under one roof. It’s just got to focus on collaboration and it wins.
Microsoft has a lot more to focus on. Which is why Microsoft Teams has ignored the democratic approach entirely. It’s instead serving you the same platforms you’ve always been using wrapped in some semi-fashionable interface. That interface, it appears, has been pinched from Slack’s 2015 wardrobe, and given the warning Slack issued to Microsoft, it’s not happy.
So, for every business that uses Powerpoint, Skype, Word and Note, they can now use those tools on Microsoft Teams in an environment that feels a bit like Slack. So what?
Corporates that are embedded in Microsoft are always going to be embedded in Microsoft. Slack is never ever going to be an option for these guys, it’s too liberal. It would be like putting Bernie Sanders in charge of North Korea overnight.
The citizens would not know what on earth to do with themselves.
Instead, Microsoft, cleverly and crassly all at the same time, has given their unfortunate customers a little perk, a little glimpse of coolness, a little taste of ‘the other side’ in order to keep them satisfied. The chances are, they’ll all probably revert back to using whatever they use to communicate with one another; owl or something (can you sense the bias here?).
While I can understand Slack getting hot under the collar for being ripped off, it can’t possibly be soiling itself over losing customers. It’s got Facebook Workplace to worry about on that front.
What this comes down to is choice. You’ll have Microsoft organisations and you’ll have other organisations. You’ll have Office users and Google users. Trying to say that one environment is better than the other is missing the point entirely.
It’s a bit like saying ‘everyone looks great in skinny jeans’. I don’t, but for a while, I wanted to feel what it was like to be part of that gang. Stretch denim gave me that opportunity.
I now wear regular cut.
But I work on Slack.