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Microsoft Teams vs. Slack: What’s the Difference?

Microsoft Teams vs. Slack: What’s the Difference?

Team projects can sometimes present special difficulties. If the members of the team do not live in close proximity to one another, progress can be hindered by the difficulties of getting everyone together. That’s probably why software like Slack and Microsoft Teams has been invented. Using these programs, a group of individuals can stay in contact and work together from afar. These programs allow for chat, live video feeds, group notifications, file-sharing, graphical display, and more. In this article, we will compare the two rivals and see how they stack up against one another.

About Slack

Slack was released in 2013, making it the older of the two competitors. On the surface, this appears to be nothing more than an instant-messaging app. However, it has over 800 third-party apps that can be used to customize its features. By the time you customize it to your liking, it should be able to do a lot more than instant messaging. However, it should be noted that many of these apps are not available for use with the free version of Slack.

Slack was originally created by a software company called Tiny Speck. They were working on a game called “Glitch” at the time, and they invented a quick and easy messaging platform so that the developers could stay in touch. The name “Slack” is an acronym for “Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge.”

About Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams was introduced in 2018 as a limited beta release, becoming widely available shortly afterward. It seems that Microsoft was originally thinking about buying Slack but decided to become a competitor instead. Their product does most of the same things that Slack users would expect, and it seems to be making an impact on the market. As of November 2019, Microsoft claims that this program had about 20 million active users.

Microsoft Teams makes much less use of third-party apps, but it integrates well with popular apps that are also owned by Microsoft. By interfacing with Microsoft Office 365, Skype, and Outlook, Teams can provide a level of compatibility that allows the software to run more smoothly.

Which One Is More Expensive?

This question should be pretty easy to answer. We can simply go to their web sites and make a quick price comparison. So, here is the pricing guide for Slack. We can see that they offer four different plans. The most basic plan is free, while the standard account costs $6.67 per month. If you upgrade to the premium account, the price goes up to $12.50. They also offer an “Enterprise Grid” option that is intended for large businesses. Pricing for that plan is determined on an individual basis.

here is the pricing guide for Slack

Now let’s look at the pricing guide for Microsoft Teams. They offer only three plans, but the pricing is similar. There is a basic account that can be had for free, and then there is a business premium account that costs $12.50 per month. Accounts for larger clients are charged a flat fee of $20.00 per month.

look at the pricing guide for Microsoft Teams

So, we have a curious draw here. Both of these services offer a free account that will serve the needs of most individual users, and most of them charge $12.50 for a premium account. Slack features a middle-ground option for about $7.00 a month, which is one difference. Also, Microsoft has more consistent pricing for large corporate clients.

Which One Has Better Security?

This one is highly debatable, as both of these programs work in similar ways. As such, a person who could hack one of these programs would most likely be able to hack the other. This question is also hard to answer because Microsoft Teams hasn’t been around for very long. There just hasn’t been a whole lot of time for customers to evaluate this product since its release.

Some are already saying that Microsoft Teams is unsafe and non-secure. A group of IT experts published a report recently, claiming that Microsoft Teams contained a very serious security flaw. By using open-source routine management applications like Squirrel, a hacker can supposedly gain control of your entire infrastructure by tricking the system into downloading infected files using Github or WhatsApp.

On the other hand, Slack has been hacked in the past. The company first reported a security breach in 2015, reporting that large amounts of user data had been compromised. By using a simple keylogger, hackers were able to exploit a bug in the code and capture passwords as the user typed them. It is good to see that they were honest with the public about this matter, and Slack insists that the vulnerability has been removed.

Both of our competitors seem evenly matched in this regard, but Microsoft does take one slight advantage here. Their software comes with a data-loss prevention feature, whereas Slack has no such assurances in place. At the same time, Microsoft’s operating systems do not place much emphasis on security and are, in fact, known as the least secure computers in the world. Thus, we would be more inclined to trust Slack on this one.

Which One Is Easier To Use?

Which One Is Easier To Use?

Because Slack is the older of the two programs, it isn’t surprising to see that it’s a little simpler. You start with basic instant message service and add whatever else you may need. You don’t really need to worry so much about integrating this program with third-party apps, as it tends to do this without much issue. Microsoft Teams is a little more finicky about outside apps, especially those not made by Microsoft.

When it comes to file-sharing, it really depends on which software you are already using. Slack is meant to integrate with Google Drive, so those who are already making use of this service will find Slack to be easier to use. Microsoft Teams, on the other hand, uses Office 365 as its file-sharing workhorse. A lot of businesses are already using this software, so that easy integration is very helpful.

Still, Slack gets a few points for the quickness and ease with which you can register for services. Account creation takes a little bit longer with Microsoft Teams, which can take away valuable project time. It can also frustrate team members before they have even begun, and that’s always bad for morale.

Which One Is Better For Video Calls?

Both of these programs are able to handle video calls, and both of them should perform well in this regard. However, there is one fact that should not be ignored: Microsoft owns Skype. Because of this fact, Microsoft can have perfect integration between the two programs, allowing you to link your Skype account directly to your Teams account.

Skype is the biggest and most popular video chat program around, so more people will know how to use its features. That means you won’t have to spend as much time educating people about the way the program works. Thus, Microsoft will always have a natural advantage in this area.

How Do The Features Of These Programs Match Up?

How Do The Features Of These Programs Match Up?

This is a complex subject, as both of these programs can do a lot of things. First, let’s talk about mobile device management. Both of these programs have smartphone apps that can be used to access any of the features or services. The Slack app download doesn’t take very long, and neither does the Microsoft Teams download. Thus, we see no difference in that regard.

Message History Limits

One of the best Microsoft Teams features would have to be the lack of a message history limit. This program will store as many messages as you want it to store, whereas Slack’s free version has a limit of 10,000 messages. However, all of Slack’s paid versions include unlimited messaging history, so this disadvantage only applies to users of the free program.

Conference Calls

When it comes to conference calls, we can see that Microsoft gets a bigger advantage. Their program can accommodate up to 80 people in a single meeting, whereas a meeting on Slack is limited to just 15 people. For small working groups, this won’t be a big problem. However, larger companies that hold larger meetings might be forced to go with Microsoft Teams because of these capacity limits.

Data Storage

Let’s look at data storage next. After all, a well-integrated team should maintain good communication, and that means lots of stored messages/files. These messages and files give you a way to track the project from start to finish and are thus vital to good record-keeping. If you run out of space, crucial information can be lost.

Microsoft Teams allows 2 GB per user and 10 GB per team, but that’s only the free plan. Their paid plans come with a limit of 1 TB per company or organization. Slack, on the other hand, offers 5 GB per team when using the free version. Paid versions get 20 GB per user. As you can see, the size of your company will play some role in this decision.

1 TB sounds like a lot, but it isn’t much for an entire company. Let’s think about it like this: Slack offers 20 GB per user…does Microsoft offer that same amount, or does it offer more? Let’s do the math. If your company has 1 TB of total storage, you can allocate 20 GB per person until your company has more than 50 employees. Since most major companies have a lot more than 50 employees, that could be a problem for Microsoft.

Conclusion: Who Is The Winner?

When we compare Microsoft Teams Vs Slack, the decision is not easy. Both of these pieces of software offer certain pros and cons, which we have already covered in detail. For pricing, the two companies offer nearly identical plans. Microsoft has more consistent pricing for large-scale plans, while Slack has an appealing middle-premium option. Thus, the price contest must be declared a draw.

When it comes to security, both programs have shown some vulnerability. However, Microsoft’s vulnerability is likely to be worse because the company has not acknowledged that it occurred. Slack was hacked one time in 2015, but they were honest with the public and corrected the problem as soon as possible. Microsoft does not have a good track record in the security department at all, either. Thus, Slack gets the win in this category.

When it comes to ease of use, it really depends on whether your company uses Google Drive or Office 365. If you use Google Drive, Slack is the better option. For compatibility with Office 365, Microsoft Teams is the better option. However, we have to give Slack a very narrow win in this category because it is quicker and easier to start an account using their service. The interface is also a little simpler, which lowers the learning curve for new users.

When it comes to video calling capabilities, Microsoft Teams gets a decisive win. You just can’t compete with Skype in this regard, and Microsoft owns Skype. Thus, that category wasn’t even a contest. Finally, that brings us to the account features. Microsoft got another decisive win here, as their account features were better in every regard. They offer more storage, more people, and bigger meetings. Their 1 TB per organization limit is a little low, but they exceed Slack in every other feature.

In the end, we have two points for Microsoft, two points for slack, and one draw. Thus, this contest has ended in a completely even draw. With two points each, both of these programs can claim some degree of bragging rights. If you have enjoyed this article, and if you would like to read more of our work, please fill out the contact form below.