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Microsoft overhauls SharePoint to compete with Slack in the mobile era

Microsoft overhauls SharePoint to compete with Slack in the mobile era

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Microsoft faces increasing competition from rivals like Dropbox, Slack, and Box, but the company is responding with improvements to its own SharePoint software today. SharePoint has been used by businesses for 15 years to organize documents, build intranet sites, and manage content. While it's used by 190 million users, it hasn't fully adapted to the mobile era. Microsoft is overhauling SharePoint today, and introducing iOS, Android, and Windows 10 Mobile apps.

The iOS SharePoint app will arrive by the end of June, with the Android and Windows 10 Mobile versions due for release later this year. All of the mobile apps are designed to make SharePoint more accessible on the go, allowing users to access things like corporate intranet sites and content. Alongside the new apps, Microsoft is also providing access to SharePoint Online document libraries in OneDrive mobile apps, and the ability to copy from OneDrive to SharePoint.

SharePoint mobile apps

These improvements should make using SharePoint on the go a lot more useful. Microsoft plans to synchronize SharePoint Online document libraries with the new OneDrive sync client by the end of the year, and integrate SharePoint sites with Office 365 Groups. Microsoft's new Flow service, which lets you automate tasks, will also be integrated into SharePoint by the end of the year.

Microsoft is also planning to release a OneDrive Universal Windows app by the end of June. Early beta versions do not include the popular placeholders feature that Microsoft removed in Windows 10, and it's not clear if the final or future versions will bring back this experience. Dropbox revealed last week that it's planning to use placeholders so users can save hard drive space when syncing cloud content with the service.