back to article Microsoft to rule the biz chat roost – survey

Microsoft shows no sign of yielding its enterprise chat and conferencing users to a hipster-friendly upstart like Slack. A snapshot of US businesses who use work chat shows that Microsoft's Teams is taking advantage of Google's enterprise missteps rather than those of Slack. Skype for Business – formerly Office Communicator …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    None of the above.

    I use the free self hosted RocketChat. No, I don't work for them, I just hate GoogleSoft,

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: None of the above.

      Handy when you want to talk to yourself...

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: None of the above.

      Just create an IRC channel on EfNet or Freenode. works for me. Make it 'invite only'. Or run your own IRC server if there's some super-secret thing being discussed. You could even use SSL encryption and some ancient hardware running Linux...

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: None of the above.

        >> Just create an IRC channel on EfNet or Freenode

        That's handy. Next time a customer wants to start a Skype meeting, I'll send them the details.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: None of the above.

          @AMBxx we are talking about internal communications for the most part.

          Although we do receive guest logons for Skype for Business telcos on occassion (login over website).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: None of the above.

          Works for me too

          but don't forget to allow 4-6 weeks for the information security risk assessment, penetration test and architectural audits. Oh and if you are in the public sector you'll need to audit the irc hosts patching software compliance and patching policy.

          Yup why use a corporate level, scale able product you effectively get free with Office when you can dick about like a teenager.

          I really wonder if some people 'contributing' actually work in the trade or just sit in mom's basement trolling those of us who do actually work for a living.

    3. big_D Silver badge

      Re: None of the above.

      My previous employer ran its own Jabber servers for internal and external chat (open source software developer).

      That is the only company I've worked at that has used chat tools.

  2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Invalid numbers

    Looks like the numbers are based on installs. Seeing as Microsoft has shoehorned Lync/Skype/Teams/WhateverNext onto its enterprise customer machines it's hardly surprising to see the numbers flattering them. More indicative of the real market size are Slack and Hangouts as these usually mean overcoming inertia to get them installed and this usually happens when whatever is already there isn't enough. Microsoft might get there by making it the default. But that will almost inevitably mean "job done" and closing down the team and ignoring whatever the next new thing™ is, including not running Windows.

    Neither Hangouts or Slack are perfect but that have both usually succeeded by doing one or two things that people care about very well. Slack works well with VCS systems that spew a lot of messages, Hangouts audio/video has always been rock solid and it scales fantastically. Microsoft has repeatedly failed to be as good in the same areas in its copycat products and, more importantly, failed to add anything worthwhile. Still, they don't give up easily. What next? Teams forced on Github I suspect as the dudes in Redmond discover Webhook APIs.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Invalid numbers

      By bundling Skype with Orifice Slurp automatically gains enterprise users. Given most enterprises are Slurp shops this gives a massive installed user base at the enterprise level. Any other competitor has to overcome the (illegal?) bundling, internal inertia, and PHBs believing all of Slurp's lies. A tall order even for someone with deep pockets.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Invalid numbers

      I think you are underestimating the numbers hugely for Skype/ teams usage. For organisations on enterprise agreements for Office it's basically free and it works very well as a chat platform. I'm currently working with a large County Council where it has replaced the traditional telephony system so also provides voice calls voice and video conferencing (these were additional chargeable features). It hangs together very well, works over low bandwidth connections and allows us to invite external parties to dial in to teleconferences.

      The last organisation I worked with were using google hangouts but they were in the process of exiting the Microsoft ecosystem and moving on massed to google apps.

      The only organisation I've worked with who used slack extensively were the Government Digital Service who used slack for messaging and hangouts for video calling but I put that down to their hipster mentality rather than a thought through architectural design.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Invalid numbers

        I think you are underestimating the numbers hugely for Skype/ teams usage.

        I doubt it but I suspect it depends a lot on how you define the use and hence the market. I've had to use Lync/Skype/Teams for one of my customers for years so I'm reasonably familiar with it and its use. You need a VoIP infrastructure to replace a traditional system after which it doesn't really matter what clients you use for it, but, sure Skype now does this quite well.

        The market is really what companies are prepared additional money on. I'm not overly enamoured by Slack but I can see why it's popular in some environments and why Microsoft has been prepared to make Teams free go after it. I just don't think it will be enough to convince those with an investment in Slack to jump back. And, as I said, I think Microsoft is likely to miss stuff playing catch up.

        When it starts force-feeding teams on GitHub it might be successful in establishing a new standard client but I'm not sure where the upside will be. Even if they achieve a dominant market share they're likely to find it hard to start charging. This has been the case for a lot of Microsoft products over the last ten years.

  3. TheSmokingArgus

    Second the vote for RocketChat. Seems to me if you value your enterprise's privacy & data security, the smart money called the cloud/hybrid-cloud game for what it is a number of years back: snake oil.

    Amazing to me how in this tech-info-utopia we are fortunate enough to live, we sometimes forget old maxims.

  4. Dan 55 Silver badge

    That's the theory

    Teams is free with Office 365, so for no additional cost enterprises gain unlimited message retention and search

    Now try and use Team's UI to search for something.

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: That's the theory

      Never tried it myself. Is it a nice friendly text box one can type SQL into?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: That's the theory

        No, it's a horrible thing with no useful filtering and it takes ages to paint the results or scroll up and down.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Thirst for a Coherent Offering

    Looks like the first company that gets its enterprise offering's strategy right will win. Possibly in a big way.

    MS has a lot of experience serving enterprise needs. Is this beginning to tell? Bolting stuff on to the side of O365 isn't a bad idea if that's selling well.

    It strikes me that hiring a lot of youngsters to do your messaging platforms is a bad idea if you want to appeal to Enterprises. You need some old fogeys who have actually worked in an enterprise, they'll likely know what will work and what won't. I may be wrong, but I don't have Google, Slack, etc down as the kind of companies targeting that kind of engineer in their recruitment programmes.

  6. Hans 1 Silver badge

    Teams Crap

    What use is a chat client that commits ritual suicide every 15 minutes or so ?

    It's been, I dunno, 5 or 6 updates where teams tries to update itself and decides kill itself instead - the only solution ? Download the new teams and install it ... how hard can it be for Teams:

    1. to not kill itself 1.


    9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999. cf 1.

    10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000. to fetch the update and install it

    10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001. to tell the user if 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000. fails for some reason ?

    alpha code released again ...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    We use slack, but I'm not sure I see the value over mail or phone - seems just another way to let folk interrupt your day ...

    1. cdegroot

      Re: Slack

      IRC, Skype, Hipchat, Slack, Bluejeans, Hangouts, Zoom, ... - it all seems pretty interchangeable to me. My employer switched chat and videoconf providers a couple of times, and it's not a big deal. Which is why I think that Slack is not worth $10b but I'm sure that Goldman-Sachs will ignore my opinion and get the valuation they want anyway for an IPO ;-).

      I don't think that running your own IRC server is a solution for any company - your admin hours are probably better spent elsewhere. That doesn't mean that I _like_ being forced to one chat client where IRC gave me integration wherever, however I wanted - in the CLI, in a 24x80 terminal, inside Emacs, under any GUI, and so on. But times go on and sound business reasoning precludes rolling your own if there are so many relatively cheap solutions out there that just work.

  8. phuzz Silver badge


    We used to just use our own Jabber server.

    Now we use Hipchat (which is EOL), Stride and Mattermost, which of course means we give up trying to work out which chat app a particular person is on and just fall back to email.

  9. BigAndos

    We use both hangouts (part of google apps for business) and slack for some reason. Slack's only selling points I've seen is the ease of creating new channels and for people to join and leave them. It mainly seems to be used here to send animated gifs and waste time.

  10. Mage Silver badge


    MS is still dominant in Business, despite all their attempts to drive customers to Apple and Linux with their "phone-centric" desktop, stupid flat inconsistant GUI, poorer backward compatibility and nasty Updates. Also Exchange & Sharepoint (both horrible compared with even free alternatives) dominate in medium to Enterprise.

    Not a surprise.

  11. Walter Bishop Silver badge

    Enterprise chat and conferencing

    Slack/Teams, a re-implementation of IRC from a hundred years ago - in Internet years, only you have to see and hear 'em at the same time. What I would find useful is the ability to work on the same document, concurrently and at different times, with full auditing and version control. A souped-up version of a revision control system only the end users can included formatted text, images, and graphs lots of graphs :]

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