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Microsoft Office vice president Kirk Koenigsbauer launches Microsoft Teams one year ago this week on the company’s Redmond campus. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop)

Microsoft Teams is now being used by 200,000 organizations in 181 markets around the world, up four-fold since the tech giant’s workplace chat and collaboration technology launched one year ago this week, according to new statistics released by the Redmond company this morning.

Teams is Microsoft’s challenger to Slack and other collaboration tools from tech rivals including Facebook, Amazon and Google. The introduction of Teams a year ago prompted fast-growing Slack to take out a full-page newspaper ad cautioning Microsoft that “all this is harder than it looks.”

Microsoft this morning cited companies including General Motors, ConocoPhillips, NASCAR, Technicolor, RLH Corporation and A.P. Moller as Teams customers.

In the competition for new customers, Microsoft Teams benefits from its inclusion in business editions of Microsoft’s Office 365 at no extra charge. The company reported 120 million active monthly Office 365 commercial users as of October.

Also this morning, Microsoft announced new features slated to be released for Teams, including cloud recording of online meetings with transcription and time-coding; real-time language translation for Teams channels and chat; integration of Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant; and the ability to share content from a smartphone with other attendees in an online meeting.

In addition, the company announced new enterprise voice features and hardware integration with devices including the Microsoft Surface Hub.

Slack currently cites 9 million weekly active users, saying that more than 50,000 companies are on paid plans. The company recently marked the one-year anniversary of its Slack Enterprise Grid service, which is used by more than 150 large companies, including Capital One, Liberty Mutual, E*TRADE, Target, Overstock, 21st Century Fox, Condé Nast, IBM, Oracle, and Intuit.

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