Slack Deepens Microsoft Office Integration

Slack may compete head-on with Microsoft Teams for business chat services, but the company has now added more comprehensive integration with Microsoft Office, including Outlook calendar and mail, more OneDrive features and the ability to preview Office files within Slack.

Integration with Outlook in Slack is not new, but the updated Slack Outlook app introduces calendar features including messaging users when a meeting invite arrives and allowing them to respond in one click.

It adds meeting reminders that include direct links to Skype, Webex or Zoom conferences and can automatically set the user’s Slack status to reflect when they’re in a meeting or out of the office, based on Outlook calendar settings.

Outlook emails can now be brought into Slack channels or sent directly to users. // Slack

Email tools

New Outlook email features add the ability to bring emails directly into Slack channels, something that previously required third-party tools.

Users can now forward emails from Outlook directly to a Slack channel or user along with a note or attachment, something Slack already offers for Gmail.

An update to Slack’s OneDrive app gives it features similar to existing Dropbox and Google Drive integration, allowing users to click the + icon to browse OneDrive files and add them to a channel or direct message.

Slack now also allows users to preview full Office files, including PowerPoint slides, Word documents and Excel spreadsheets without opening them.

The company said it’s aiming to bring in a similar feature for OneDrive files.

Slack said it didn’t collaborate with Microsoft on the features, but created them using publicly available APIs.

Microsoft last year launched a free version of Teams and in March it more closely integrated Yammer into Teams, as it looks to ramp up competition with Slack.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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