Microsoft bans employees from using Slack, puts AWS, Google Docs on ‘discouraged’ list: Report
Microsoft has banned its employees from using the free version of Slack which competes with its Microsoft Teams app.
Microsoft has reportedly banned its employees from using Slack, a professional collaboration software tool that competes with the likes of Flock, Facebook Workplace, and Microsoft Teams. The company has put Amazon's Web Services (AWS) and Google Docs on its list of "prohibited and discouraged technology."
Microsoft has also banned Grammarly grammar checking tool and Kaspersky security software for its employees, according to a Geekwire report. Interestingly enough, the 'discouraged' list includes the cloud version of GitHub, a popular software developer platform which Microsoft acquired last year.
The report said that the decision to ban Slack in particular was not because of the direct competition with Microsoft Teams but a measure to prevent risks to IT and intellectual property. Microsoft, however, has gone soft on Enterprise Grid version of Slack, saying other versions of the app "do not provide required controls" for security.
Here's what Microsoft has reportedly advised its staff on Slack:
"Slack Free, Slack Standard and Slack Plus versions do not provide required controls to properly protect Microsoft Intellectual Property (IP). Existing users of these solutions should migrate chat history and files related to Microsoft business to Microsoft Teams, which offers the same features and integrated Office 365 apps, calling and meeting functionality. Learn more about the additional features that Teams can provide your workgroup. Slack Enterprise Grid version complies with Microsoft security requirements; however, we encourage use of Microsoft Teams rather than a competitive software."
On Amazon Web Services and Google Docs, Microsoft says both the platforms are "discouraged for use" and employees will need to show a "business justification" for the usage. "It is highly recommended to start a migration plan to Azure prior to engaging the Governance team for new request or renewals," the company said in the note.
Grammarly, the popular grammar-checking add-on has been put on a "prohibited" list.
"The Grammarly Office add-in and browser extensions should not be used on the Microsoft network because they are able to access Information Rights Management (IRM) protected content within emails and documents," Microsoft said.
The report comes shortly after Slack made a big public trading debut earlier this week. Valued at more than $23 billion, Slack has about 90 million users but only 100,000 paid subscribers.