The Old Warhorse Passes the Unicorn: Microsoft Teams Winning Corporate Collaborators
Roopinder Tara posted on June 30, 2020 |
Zoom’s growth flattens, and Microsoft Teams scores with Office integration and features.
Growth of collaboration tools since February 2020. While Zoom zoomed ahead early, the corporate world put the brakes on the serviceafter its much-publicized security breaches (Zoom bombing) and growth has since leveled off. Meanwhile, Microsoft keeps adding tools, features—and users. (Imagecourtesy of Aternity.)
Growth of collaboration tools since February 2020. While Zoom zoomed ahead early, the corporate world put the brakes on the serviceafter its much-publicized security breaches (Zoom bombing) and growth has since leveled off. Meanwhile, Microsoft keeps adding tools, features—and users. (Imagecourtesy of Aternity.)

Engineers have had to rely on collaboration tools more than ever to work with their team members. In the age of the coronavirus, it is safer to send an email and schedule an online design review, for example, even if your colleagues are sitting safe distances away in their cubicles.

Two of the biggest videoconferencing tools of late, Zoom and Microsoft Teams, have been locked in a race. Zoom, a Silicon Valley startup, is favored by the general public and tech companies. Zooming became part of the public lexicon, much like Googling. So popular did it become that we heard of Zoom gloom and Zoom fatigue. Yes, Zoom was more fun, more hip ... a Zoom dating, with glass of wine in hand, lips glossed, or chins shaved, became the new way to date.

But a much-publicized security problem provided the next common Zoom term: Zoom bombing. It was surprisingly easy for anyone to disrupt church and school Zoom meetings with shocking images. Hackers only had to pick meeting numbers at random to chance upon a Zoom meeting in progress, and suddenly there were unwanted guests with the ability to take over your screens. Zoom was quick to provide a fix, but the damage was done. Many corporations and governments were quick to shut it down, including in the U.S., the U.S. Senate, NASA, New York city schools, Google and SpaceX.

Denied Zoom, many found Teams, which may have been there all along on their desktops. Already enmeshed in Microsoft Windows and Office, as is most of the business world, more and more mice clicked on the Teams icon. It wasn’t long before Teams’ advantages became apparent: the tight integration with Outlook’s calendar, cloud-based file sharing, the ease with which you could conduct crystal-clear calls from the app, and more.

After passing Zoom, Microsoft shows no sign of slowing down -- not even for weekends. On Saturday, Teams product manager Mike Tholfsen announced an enhancement that will make the service even more popular: Teams can now have up to 300 attendees. For many small and medium-size companies, that’s everyone.

Zoom allows up to 100 attendees, and limits the free users to 45-minute meetings -- no doubt a dealbreaker for managers who wish to torture their minions for longer.


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