• 01:05 Feb 20, 2020


Microsoft bans employees for using product from select competitors

By: Rohan Pal, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi Last updated : June 24, 2019 1:20 pm

Microsoft has put different apps including Google Docs, Amazon Web Services (AWS) to the list of ‘prohibited and discouraged’ software.

Microsoft wants its employees not to use products from competitors. The list of banned applications includes Slack,  Google Docs and Amazon Web Services (AWS) . The name of the list is ‘prohibited and discouraged’ software.


Slack is a team collaboration software that allows users to perform different tasks like sharing photos, documents, video calls, instant messaging and more with their teammates without using multiple apps for the same purpose. Microsoft is banning the usage of its competitor's applications citing security concerns. GeekWire obtained an internal Microsoft list of prohibited and discouraged technology that reveals that it has banned the usage of Slack, which is a direct competitor to Microsoft Teams. The report highlights that the decision to ban Slack was made due to as a measure to prevent risks to IT and Microsoft intellectual property (IP).


“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,” the company said to its employees. However, the report says that Slack Enterprise Grid version complies with Microsoft security requirements, though it encourages its employees to use Microsoft Teams.



Apart from this, the company has also put Google Docs, which is a competitor to Microsoft Office, and Amazon Web Services, which gives direct competition to Microsoft Azure, to this list. The company, as per the report, says that employees would have to show “business justification” for using both of these services. “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.


Furthermore, the Redmond giant has also prohibited the usage of Grammarly, which is an online spelling checker and grammar tool, as it is able to access Information Rights Management (IRM) protected content within emails and documents. Even Microsoft-owned GitHub is discouraged for “Highly Confidential types of information, specs or code.” It makes sense for Microsoft to keep its competition off from its ecosystem and wants to protect itself from possible corporate espionage.

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