Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How Microsoft built its Slack competitor - The Verge

Some insights into the development of Microsoft Teams, which became generally available yesterday

"Microsoft Teams might be launching across the world today, but the app started off on a fruit farm in Hawaii and a hotel room in Las Vegas. These unconventional work locations formed the foundations for the Microsoft Teams chat app that thousands of businesses will start using this week. “We really wanted to experience being close together and get the team much more close-knit so that we could model how we really make Teams more close-knit in software,” explains Brian MacDonald, head of Microsoft Teams, in an interview with The Verge.

Brian MacDonald worked on the original version of Microsoft’s Outlook email app, and was tasked with creating a concept for the company’s new chat software. Microsoft had tried, years ago, to convince businesses to switch to group chats, but the product it acquired for the task wasn’t good enough. Around the time Slack and Hipchat were growing and starting to get popular, MacDonald wrote a document to pitch what would become Microsoft Teams, and put together a group to make it a reality. That original pitch, back in February 2015, included the bizarre offsite locations for brainstorming what Microsoft Teams would become."
How Microsoft built its Slack competitor - The Verge
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