Only a short time ago was it reported that Microsoft wanted to buy messaging app Slack for $8 billion, but according to a new report, the company has scrapped these plans and decided to go it alone. For those of you who do not know, Slack is a group messaging app designed to help out businesses or teams to communicate and now Microsoft has allegedly started testing a Skype-branded competitor.
The new app, which will reportedly be called Skype Teams, will include a number of features that are currently available in Slack, including support for different group chats, something Slack calls "channels" alongside the conventional private chats or Direct Messages. Another feature the app will reportedly include is Threaded Conversations, something Slack currently doesn't support. With this option, you can reply to any message on any channel by clicking on the reply button and anybody else can join in, similar to the way Facebook comments work. In addition to this, Microsoft is reportedly adding the ability to schedule online meetings, which leads on to the next feature: video calling. As the name of the app would suggest, Microsoft plans on including Skype video calls into the app, both through private and group chats, something that will surely be useful for large teams.
Also expected to be included in the new app is the ability to share notes, files and media, something Microsoft is expected to integrate with OneDrive and Office 365 in order to allow teams to easily share Word documents or PowerPoint presentations. Interestingly, Microsoft's new version of the SharePoint app already competes with Slack to some degree as it allows users to manage content and documents, but with the popularity of Slack increasing by the day, it's important for Microsoft to stay at the forefront of productivity apps. Currently, Skype Teams is reportedly being tested internally by Microsoft and will initially only be available to Office 365 customers, though it's likely to receive a wider release to the rest of the public shortly afterwards, with Microsoft allegedly creating apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and the Web in the hope of its users having easy access to it.