There is no shortage of enterprise social networking apps that aim to improve collaboration and replace email. Services like Slack, HipChat, and Yammer seek to provide direct communication and team management tools as alternatives to emails by dropping subject lines, inboxes and signatures in favor of direct messaging and channels.
Microsoft announced today the release of their own light weight messaging app named Send. Made available today through the Microsoft Garage, this app is designed for simple quick messages between coworkers in lieu of emails and without subject lines or formal email constructs. The app is built on top of Office 365 mail, so all communications are available in Outlook for reference later.
Today’s announcement of Send describes the app saying:
“With Send, there are no signatures, subject lines or salutations required. Our design principle for the app was to make conversations fast and fluid while keeping the people who are important to you at its core. Send connects to Office 365 business and school email accounts to surface your frequent and recent contacts. The people who are important to you are put right at your fingertips—just tap on a contact to start a conversation. Or even better, simply swipe and choose a Quick Reply such as “On my way” or “I’ll get back to you.” You can also see when someone is typing their response; there’s never been a quicker way to reach someone over email.”
While Send is built on top of your Office 365 email inbox, the app will not show all of your emails, just messages that have been started in the app. Currently, the app is only available for iOS but is promised to be coming soon to both Windows Phone and Android. It is also only currently available for Office 365 business and school email accounts. However, the Office blog states that the app will be made more broadly available in the coming months.
The Outlook Team will also be available on Tuesday July 28th at YamJam starting at 9:00 a.m. PDT to answer questions about the app. You can join by requesting access to the Office 365 IT Pro Network on Yammer and then joining the Send Group.
Also of note, Send looks to be the previously leaked app Flow, which WinBeta reported on back in May. Flow was described as a lightweight communication tool that is built on top of email but removes subject lines, salutations, and signature to provide fast messaging interchangeable with Outlook. The leak of Flow was also joined by leaks of other lightweight productivity apps titled Flip and Highlander, however today’s announcement included no news on the status of the other leaked productivity tools. But with the recent addition of apps like Send and GigJam, it is clear Microsoft is moving forward on defining new and unexpected ways for teams to collaborate.