Microsoft reveals Microsoft Send, a new enterprise chat app to rival Slack

Microsoft has launched Microsoft Send, a new messaging service that should have Slack worried. Designed to provide lightning-quick communication between co-workers, Send comes with the added bonus of Outlook integration. The app is already available to iOS users in the US and Canada, and Microsoft says it will be releasing a version for Android and Windows Phone soon.

Microsoft reveals Microsoft Send, a new enterprise chat app to rival Slack

There’s currently no mention of a UK release, but a blog post on the Office site reads: “We expect to make the app more broadly available in the coming months,” so it should just be a matter of time.

What is it?

Microsoft Send is an app designed to speed up communication by filling the gap between text messages and emails. Much like Slack, Send is classed as an instant-messaging (IM) tool, and is made for schools and businesses using Office 365.

In May, we reported that Microsoft was working on an iOS chat app called ‘Flow’, and screenshots leaked at the time show a striking resemblance to the newly released Microsoft Send. 

How does it work?

Users can reply to colleagues’ messages like a normal IM chat. It could be used to send the following messages:

  • Straight to the point: “Let’s chat in 10”

  • Super urgent: “Don’t send the presentation yet”

  • Simple back-and-forth conversations: “Are you in the Office today?” “No”

However, Microsoft has added features to make replying even faster. If you’re in a rush, swiping will reveal Quick Replies such as “On my way” and “I’ll get back to you”, just like iMessage does. Send lets you message anyone with an email address, but to keep things uncluttered, the app will only display conversations started in the app.

Significantly, all sent messages comply with company email-compliance policies, making it a proper alternative to email. What’s more, Microsoft says the app saves a copy of your chat transcripts in Outlook, so you’ll be able to search your sent messages for important replies.

Microsoft Garage

Send is the latest app from Microsoft’s innovative Microsoft Garage; a branch of the company that allows employees to work on experimental apps in their downtime. The project recently released a Tossup, an innovative planning app, and has released other experimental apps such as InstaNote and Receipt Tracker in the past.

However, unlike its previous Garage apps, Send has huge mainstream potential. The widespread success of Slack shows the demand for enterprise-targeted chat applications, and Send’s Office integration means it could slot into the existing infrastructure of many organisations. Would you be interested in using Microsoft Send? Let us know in the comments.

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