Slack CEO blasts Microsoft for being obsessed about “killing us”

Rabia Noureen

The Microsoft Teams vs Slack rivalry is heating up a bit amid the coronavirus outbreak, and Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield doesn’t miss any chance to take a dig at its competitor. Earlier this month, the Slack CEO denied the fact that Microsoft Teams is even a competitor to Slack. Having said that, Butterfield criticized Microsoft for being obsessed about killing Slack in a recent interview with The Verge.

The interview covered a wide range of topics including new Slack features, the future of Slack, and most importantly, Slack’s rivalry with Microsoft Teams. Butterfield believes that Slack and Microsoft Teams end up being quite different, and according to him Microsoft is the company forcing the Microsoft Teams-Slack comparison. Butterfield expands on this statement by saying that despite the fact Microsoft Teams is a voice and video calling service, Microsoft takes advantage of the narrative that Microsoft Teams is a competitor to Slack.

“Microsoft is perhaps unhealthily preoccupied with killing us, and Teams is the vehicle to do that. But Teams is much more of a direct competitor to Zoom. If you watch their product announcements or read their press releases, if you look at the features listed, if you think about the 100 million people who are being migrated from Skype for Business to Teams — it’s voice and video calling. And Slack has some very limited voice and video capabilities built into it, but that’s definitely not why anyone chooses to use Slack,” Butterfield said.

Butterfield also pointed out to Microsoft’s press release published in July 2019, where the software giant compared the daily active users of Microsoft Teams and Slack. The Slack CEO emphasized the fact that no software company, including Microsoft, had ever done that before.

Teams vs Slack Infographic

Microsoft Teams has seen unprecedented growth since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak and its userbase is growing at a rapid pace. Microsoft Teams now has more daily active users (75 million) than Slack, which had 12 million daily active users reported back in October. It will be interesting to see if the gap will continue to widen in the coming months.