Tuesday, May 17

Slack vs. Microsoft Teams: What software goes with your project? | Digital Trends Spanish

Officially the pandemic is not over yet, however, in many countries life is returning to normal. If you are one of the “lucky ones” who continues to work online from home, you surely know several programs to make your video calls. We compare two of the leaders in this modality to see their advantages and disadvantages: Slack vs. Microsoft Teams.

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messaging skills

Both Slack and Microsoft Teams offer fairly similar conversation threads for your messages, including plain text and tagging. Both support GIFs, though Teams simply provides a more robust way to fully convey your messages. For example, to insert a GIF into your Slack message, you would enter a command, such as /giphy image name.

Screen to insert Gif in Microsoft Teams

In Teams, you’ll find a toolbar at the bottom that provides access to a library of GIFs and stickers. Even more, you can click on the tags button to create a custom meme. Slack offers integration with Bitmoji and similar services, but it’s not native and easily accessible like Teams.

When it comes to customizing the messaging interface, Slack offers more variety. You can switch between light and dark themes to adjust the overall appearance. If you’re looking for something more custom, you can tweak your sidebar colors from 10 options, like Dagobah and Nocturne, that complement your overall theme.

Meanwhile, the Microsoft client simply switches between three general themes: light, dark, and high contrast. There are no specific options, despite the origin linked to Windows of this Teams.

Pricing models

phone screen with message

Both apps offer freemium models, which is particularly attractive for small businesses looking to save money. Slack offers unlimited public and private channels, file sharing, 5GB of storage, and 10 app integrations.

The free plan also locks your viewable message history and search option at 10,000 entries. However, there’s no indication that Slack’s free plan limits the number of users accessing your workspace.

Meanwhile, Teams offers unlimited messaging, guest access, screen sharing, and 2GB of storage per person (5GB shared). Naturally, they both offer premium packages.

The Slack Standard Package It costs $6.67 per month per person if you sign up for an annual plan. Add unlimited apps, increase storage to 10GB per member, allow screen sharing and guest access. You also have access to the entire message history.

The Slack Plus Plan It costs $12.50 per person per month when billed annually. Increase storage to 20 GB per member, among other updates. also has a Enterprise Grid planwhich offers 1TB of storage for each user, though you’ll need to contact Slack sales directly for pricing.

Microsoft Teams offers three premium plans:

Microsoft Teams Essentials it will cost you $4 per month per user when billed annually. It has a limit of 300 users, 10 GB storage. Maximum duration of meetings to 30 hours, offers access for guests and telephone and web assistance 24 hours a day.

The plan Microsoft 365 Business Basic It costs $6 per user per month if billed annually and keeps the maximum of 300 users, but adds recordings, transcripts, meeting rooms, and over 250 integrated apps and services. You also get 10 GB per license.

Finally, Microsoft 365 Business Standard It costs $12.50 per user per month if billed annually, and still has a maximum of 300 users. It also offers webinar hosting, guest access, and desktop versions of Office applications like Word, Excel, and Publisher.

storage limits

Slack screen showing messages

As we discussed, Slack’s free model includes 5 GB of file storage per user. Paid plans increase the size to 10 or 20 GB per user, depending on the one you choose. There is also a limit of 10,000 messages in the history for the free version, a restriction that disappears for the paid versions.

The free model of Microsoft Teams offers a total of 5GB of shared storage “across all teams.” Switching to paid plans increases storage to 10 GB for Essentials and 1 TB for the entire organization, plus 10 GB per license for Business Basic and Business Standard. There are no message history limits in Teams.

Integrated Applications

Slack screen with access to applications

Slack’s free mode limits app integrations to a maximum of 10. This hurdle is removed on paid plans, where businesses can take full advantage of the 2,400+ apps available. If you use another productivity app at work, there’s a good chance it’s compatible with Slack.

Microsoft’s Teams platform takes a different approach. It offers unlimited integrations with other apps for all price points, but only supports around 250 apps.

However, as it is designed to work seamlessly with the Microsoft suite, Teams has the best integration options with Office 365. This can be a relevant consideration when making a decision.

web conference

Video conference Microsoft Teams screen

Slack’s free plan offers unlimited 1-to-1 voice or video calls. However, if you need additional calls in a single conference, you’ll need a paid plan, which supports up to 15 simultaneous calls. Teams, meanwhile, has far superior web conferencing capabilities. At all levels, including the free version, you can hold voice or video conferences with up to 300 people.

The free version of Teams has a meeting capacity of 100 participants. In addition, Teams offers the ability to record meetings in two of its premium levels (something that Slack does not do) and allows screen sharing in all levels (in Slack only in premium levels). This is an advantage for larger or team-oriented companies where this type of conference is common.

helper bots

Microsoft Teams Bots Screen

Both platforms support bots. In Slack, Slackbot is a private chat window to save links, experiment with new integrations, and ask general questions to see more information. For example, you can send messages privately with Slackbot and ask how do i change the colors? It then searches through the Help Center and presents links to three related articles.

The free version of Microsoft Teams does not include built-in bots. Instead you will find the Microsoft’s internal WhoBot on premium models. Used to collect more information about specific teams or employees, such as their specialties, managements, departments, and more.

That said, both services include built-in “storage” to discover and install additional bots compatible with Trello, Zoom, Cisco Webex, GitHub, Adobe Creative Cloud, and many more.

Platform Compatibility

Man working on a laptop with Slack

Slack is currently available on these platforms:

you can get Microsoft Teams for these platforms. What’s interesting here is that Microsoft doesn’t even offer a native Windows app, just a traditional desktop client:

You can also use Slack and Microsoft Teams as a web-based app within any modern browser.

Which Collaboration App Wins?

Both Slack and Microsoft Teams are great chat apps for organizations and businesses. Ultimately, the choice depends on what you’re looking for. If you need a specific app integration, check with Slack and Teams to see if they’re compatible.

Overall, Slack is more familiar and more comfortable, having led the collaboration pack for so many years. It’s also a standalone app that might work better for a group that prefers more independence from any platform. For that reason, it is the ideal choice for most companies and teams looking for a reliable collaboration tool.

Microsoft Teams, however, certainly has its place. It is better for larger and more complex companies. If a company is already subscribed to Office 365, connecting with Teams is a great solution in terms of features and pricing. In particular, Teams’ more robust video conferencing should be a big draw for companies with remote workers scattered around the world.

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