Coming off a series of splashy announcements focused on creativity last week, Microsoft is holding another big event Wednesday, where the company will likely get back to its bread and butter with some news about Office and workplace collaboration.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Office Corporate Vice President Kirk Koenigsbauer will make the announcements from New York City, with a satellite event in San Francisco at 8 a.m. Pacific time Wednesday. They will “discuss the changing nature of collaboration and how we can empower every team to achieve more,” according to the invitation for the event.
It is unclear what will be announced at the event, but some Microsoft observers expect the company to debut a Slack competitor, possibly called Skype Teams. Chat apps, like Slack, have become essential to many teams, as employees increasingly telecommute or work flex hours. Providing workplace productivity tools is essential to Microsoft’s business, so it’s unsurprising that the Redmond, Wash.-based company wants a piece of the action.
Nadella recently dropped a hint that Office 365 could be a big part of the event. During the company’s latest quarterly earnings call he said he looked forward to sharing news about new innovations with Windows 10 — which pointed to last week’s event — and Office 365.
Microsoft has shifted the way it offers its Office products, moving from traditional packaged software to the Office 365 subscription service. The number of Office 365 consumer subscribers topped 24 million in the company’s latest quarter, and the service boasts more than 85 monthly active commercial users. Office 365 for businesses has become the most popular enterprise cloud service in the five years since its launch, outpacing Google Apps for Business.
We expect even more announcements from Microsoft in the coming weeks. The company’s two-day developer event Connect will also be in New York this year, Nov. 16 and 17.