“[Microsoft is] unhealthily preoccupied with killing us“: Microsoft is desperately trying to take us out. Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield said it during an interview with The Verge. Strong statements, especially if they come from a person who recently claimed (and has not changed his mind) that Slack is not to be considered a competitor of Microsoft Teams.
Are Slack and Teams competing?
Stewart Butterfield has repeatedly reiterated that he does not consider Teams as a problem, for the simple reason that Slack’s CEO does not see common ground for the two apps, claiming that Teams is simply “a service for calls and video calls“. Options also available in Slack, of course, but which do not represent the focus of the application, so much so that, Butterfield continues, Slack is often integrated with Zoom or Cisco’s WebEx for these specific functions.
So why would Microsoft be trying to eliminate Slack? “Microsoft takes advantage of the narrative that sees Teams as a valid opponent of Slack. But the reality is that [Teams] it is mainly a service for making video calls or video calls“Butterfiled explained to The Verge microphones.
One of the tests brought by the CEO of Slack is a slide used in a Microsoft presentation to compare the two services.
“No other software house has ever done this“- Butterfield specified -“Maybe Oracle could do something like this … but literally, no one else would. Microsoft has never done this before“.
Butterfield also mentions an episode in which Jared Spataro (Microsoft Corporate Vice President), during an interview, attacked Slack, claiming that he did not have the ability to reinvent work. And according to Butterfield, it would not be an isolated case, but a real campaign.
But what would be the reason for such ruthless competition, if the two products do not compete on the same market? For Butterfield, the point is that the email business has lost a lot of importance in recent years: “In another universe, where Slack is incredibly successful and 98% of workers are using it in the coming years, it would be a problem for Microsoft because the importance of e-mail has declined significantly in the meantime. And if email becomes less important, then the entire collaborative software market, which is worth $ 35-40 billion a year, is under threat“.