Microsoft is continuing to play their game of catchup/leapfrog with Slack, Hipchat and other collaboration tools. The company has announced a slew of integrations with applications that will allow users to include information from apps in conversations, a new store for accessing apps that work in Teams as well as the ability to launch queries and other actions straight from the command box.
The new features, which were announced today, represent the most significant update to teams since it's release almost a year ago. As well as the obvious connections to Microsoft's Office apps, there are new connections with Trello, InVision and SurveyMonkey.
The new store for accessing apps is a particularly interesting move as it simplifies the job of finding and integrating apps. One of the things I find a little frustrating about the other tools I use is that adding third-party integrations can be a pain. But this approach seems to simplify the process significantly.
As something of a keyboard junkie - I find typing is faster than messing about with a mouse or trackpad - the ability to easily set your status by typing "/away" is quite useful. A similar syntax, using the "@" symbol delivers a list of apps that can be queued or commanded.
The new features are being deployed today, they should start appearing in client software soon.