Corporate VP for Microsoft 365 Jeff Teper believes that Microsoft Teams could become more widely used than the company’s Windows operating system.
In an interview with Venture Beat, Teper said that he envisions the platform being available across various operating systems, giving it scope to be bigger than Windows.
“We want people to build Teams-based applications that run on iOS, Android, the web, the Mac, as well as Windows,” said Teper.
“So by that definition Teams will ultimately be an even more ubiquitous platform over time.”
Teper believes the target market of potential Teams users is also larger than the target market of people who Microsoft Office software like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
“I’m very bullish on us getting more Office 365 users to use Teams. But also, first-line workers adopting Teams in health care, in retail, airlines, and so forth,” Teper said.
“It actually gives us a much bigger addressable market than, say, the people who author Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents all day.”
Big growth expected
For this reason, he said, Microsoft expects that Teams user growth will be in the hundreds of millions.
Microsoft Teams already boasts around 200 million daily meeting participants – which is fewer than the 300 million who use Zoom, but more than the 100 million who use Google Meets.
However, unlike these other platforms, Microsoft Teams offers more than just voice calling – a fact that arguably serves as Microsoft Teams’ biggest selling point.
Instead, it offers tools that span a variety of functionalities – meaning it has various competitors.
“For sure, in those categories, there are big competitors who have good products, and we’re absolutely striving to be the best choice in each category,” said Teper.
Microsoft “preoccupied with killing” Slack
Microsoft Teams has come under fire from Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, who told The Verge that Microsoft “is perhaps unhealthily preoccupied with killing us, and Teams is the vehicle to do that.”
“Microsoft benefits from the narrative that Teams is very competitive with Slack,” said Butterfield.
“Even though the reality is it’s principally a voice and video calling service.”
Butterfield believes that Microsoft is particularly threatened by Slack because it could bring down the entire Office solution, whereas Zoom only realistically threatens Microsoft’s video and voice calling solutions.
“In a different universe where Slack is incredibly successful over the next two years and 98% of knowledge workers use Slack, it does matter to Microsoft because the relative importance of email is hugely diminished,” said Butterfield.
“If email becomes less important, then that whole $40 billion-a-year collaboration productivity business unit is threatened.”