Despite the Hype, the Work Chat Wars are not over

Klint Finley comes to the wrong conclusions about the acquisition of Atlassian’s work chat products — HipChat and Stride — by Slack. Finley writes at Wired,

The Office-Messaging Wars are Over. Slack Has Won

Uh, no. As I wrote the other day in an issue of Work Futures Daily, Learning the Lessons of History,

Market-defining work chat leader Slack has acquired Atlassian’s work chat solutions, HipChat and Stride. Atlassian has given up on competing with Slack, and negotiated a stock deal in exchange for — in essence — HipChat and Stride customers. And of course, Microsoft’s rapid growth in the space through its Teams offering for Microsoft Office 365 was making Atlassian’s efforts even more difficult.
I never understood why Atlassian built Stride instead of just adding more functionality to HipChat, but whatever the motivation it didn’t jell.
So, it’s clearly a head-to-head competition between challenger Microsoft, leader Slack, and Facebook Workplace a distant third.

Although Finley acknowledges that Microsoft’s Teams has grown to over 200,000 companies using it in two years since the launch (compared to Slack’s 500,00), he fails to mention that Microsoft’s Office 365 has over 150 million business users, and very active plans to get them using Teams.

Ultimately, Slack is likely to be acquired by an internet giant if it wants to effectively fight with Microsoft. Stewart Butterfield may want to go it alone, but he’d be a natural fit for Google’s competitive plans with G-Suite. And there’s always the Amazon wild card. But this war isn’t over, just a battle in which Atlassian surrendered to Slack. And the real war continues, with Facebook’s Workplace a distant third.


Originally published at workfutures.org.