San Francisco: Microsoft has banned its employees from using the free version of Slack, reportedly due to security concerns.

Microsoft has a list of prohibited software and services, and even Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Docs are "discouraged for use" inside the company, The Verge reported on Saturday.

As per the company, "Slack Free, Slack Standard and Slack Plus versions do not provide required controls to properly protect Microsoft Intellectual Property (IP)" and hence it advises that staff should use its internally developed software instead.

"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.

"Slack Enterprise Grid version complies with Microsoft security requirements, however, we encourage use of Microsoft Teams rather than a competitive software."

The document states that Amazon Web Services and Google Docs compete directly with Microsoft's Azure cloud and Office 365 respectively, and are discouraged for use and require a business justification.

In addition, Grammarly is banned because the 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.

GitHub's cloud version is also unsurprisingly discouraged for highly confidential types of information, specs or code. (IANS)

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