Software giant Microsoft has prohibited its 100,000+ employees from using the free version of Slack due to security concerns. In fact, the technology giant has an entire list of prohibited apps and services and it has even discouraged the use of Amazon web service and Google Docs in the company. We should mention that Amazon competes with Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and Google Docs competes with Microsofts’s Office 365 service.
In addition to this, the company has also added the popular grammar checking tool – Grammarly – to its list. Microsoft has said that these services need to be banned for employees in order to safeguard its own Intellectual Property (IP). The company has stated, “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 the use of Microsoft Teams rather than competitive software.”
While there is no restriction on employees from using Slack Enterprise Grid, we should mention that because it is a paid service, most would opt for Microsoft Teams.
Speaking about Grammarly, the company said, “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.” This is the biggest security concerns which led to the ban of Slack, Amazon Web Service, and Grammarly. It is not very surprising that the company has also banned the use of GitHub. The company has warned it, employees, not to use the cloud version of GitHub to share any confidential information, specification and codes via the service.
Slack has been among the biggest competitors of the company so it does not want any of its sensitive data to be exposed. According to an IPO document Slack recorded Microsoft as its primary competitor. That’s not all. Microsoft also launched a free version of its Teams in order to rival Slack better,
While the list of services that Microsoft has banned and the reasons behind the ban make complete sense, the employees will have to use them to make sure that their own services offer better features and upgrades.
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