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For Microsoft enterprise is the future, and Teams is their new product aimed at enterprise customers. Teams will be part of Office 365 and available to all commercial users. Microsoft Teams will also end up being a direct competitor to the current market leader in the enterprise messaging space: Slack.
Slack has over 4 million daily active users, and includes top enterprises as its customers, but the launch of Teams has convinced the company to print a full page ad in New York Times in the form of an open letter to Microsoft. The gist of the letter: Why Slack is the better choice. Slack founder and head Stewart Butterfield also shared a picture of the ad on his Twitter feed. Slack has also posted the ad as a blog on their website. The blog starts like this
Wow. Big news! Congratulations on today’s announcements. We’re genuinely excited to have some competition.
We realized a few years ago that the value of switching to Slack was so obvious and the advantages so overwhelming that every business would be using Slack, or “something just like it,” within the decade. It’s validating to see you’ve come around to the same way of thinking. And even though — being honest here — it’s a little scary, we know it will bring a better future forward faster.”
However, the letter quickly moves on to a more ‘passive aggressive’ tone with Slack offering some “friendly advice,” to Microsoft.
Slack says Microsoft can’t just create a revolution by simply copying their features but requires something much deeper. According to Slack, the ‘tiny details’ are what make the big difference and they have spent a lot of time figuring out what customers really want.
Slack also adds being an “open platform is essential,” and their app allows for third-party software workflows with 750 apps in their directory taking a clear dig at Microsoft. Slack claims over 6 million apps have been installed on Slack teams so far. Then the letter gets a lot more direct, taking a jab at how Microsoft isn’t exactly so open.
“We know that playing nice with others isn’t exactly your MO, but if you can’t offer people an open platform that brings everything together into one place and makes their lives dramatically simpler, it’s just not going to work.”
Check out Stewart Butterfield’s tweet below with the NYT ad
That feeling when you think “we should buy a full page in the Times and publish an open letter,” and then you do. 💫 pic.twitter.com/BQiEawRA6d
— Stewart Butterfield (@stewart) November 2, 2016
Finally Slack advises Microsoft saying they’ll need to take a “radically different approach” in order to support customers. The blogpost brags how Slack pushes out a “same-day fix in response to a customer’s tweet, agonize over the best way to slip some humor into release notes,” etc.
Finally Slack makes one last point, though it is not clear if they are saying this more to Microsoft or to themselves. “One final point: Slack is here to stay.” Slack’s blogpost ends saying Microsoft will be a worthy competitor and they will “ready” as well.