Microsoft announced yesterday that it will be officially launching Teams worldwide on March 14th. Since its preview in November, Teams has been available to only a select few users. The company plans to launch the service online at 8:30AM PT (11:30AM ET) next Tuesday.


Microsoft Teams is described as a ‘chat-based workspace’ within the Office 365 suite, pulling together Microsoft Office tools and programs and making them accessible in a unified platform. Microsoft Groups forms the foundation of the Teams service, which enables users to share information and files seamlessly across apps.


Teams has been hailed as Slack’s direct contender, offering users and teams the same ability to create public and private chats and review chat and content history whenever needed. While a variety of bots and apps are available for Slack to assist with marketing, file sharing, office management and other such tasks, Teams aims to streamline third-party programs and bots to make these functions integral to the service.


Microsoft is keen to focus on the customization of Teams, allowing users to create and define their own experience with the program and reshape it as needed to help them work effectively within their unique workplace.

Integration of third-party programs is expected to be key to the expansion of Microsoft foray into this updated chat service. The company is expected to show off a few more compelling features of the service in greater detail next week.