In a wide-ranging conversation with The Wall Street Journal’s global technology editor Jason Dean, Slack CEO and co-founder Stewart Butterfield had some powerful words about Microsoft.

Announcing the software giant viewed his company as an existential threat.

The interview was held at the WSJ Tech Live event. 

Butterfield’s Thoughts

Butterfield was questioned about a chart Microsoft published in July during the Slack quiet time.

This revealed that Microsoft Teams had 13 million daily active users compared to 12 million for Slack. 

Butterfield seemed taken aback by the chart.

It is worth seeing, that as Dean pointed out, you can flip that existential threat comment. 

Microsoft is a significantly larger business with a trillion-dollar business cap versus Slack’s $400 million. 

It additionally has the advantage of linking Microsoft Teams to Office 365 subscriptions.

Although Butterfield says, the smaller company with a more excellent idea has usually won in the past.

For starters, Butterfield saw that of his biggest consumers, more than two-thirds are using Slack and Office 365 in combination. 

He stated that when they look at their top 50 biggest consumers, 70% of them are not just Office 365 users, but they are Office 365 users who use the combinations with Slack.

He continued to say that smaller companies have taken on giants earlier and won. 

Jason Dean, Slack CEO and co-founder Stewart Butterfield | iTMunch

The Reason Behind Butterfield’s Opinion 

As examples, he took up Microsoft itself, which in the 1980s was a young adventurer taking on established players like IBM. 

In the late 1990s, Google controlled as the first search engine even though Microsoft dominated most of the operating system and browser market at the point. 

Google then decided to go after Facebook with its social tools, all of which have failed across the years. 

Butterfield further said that the lesson they took from that is; usually, the small startup with reliable traction with customers has an advantage versus the large companies with various lines of business.

When questioned by Dean if Microsoft, which ran afoul with the Justice Department in the late 1990s, should be the case of more administrative scrutiny for its bundling methods.

 Butterfield declared that he wasn’t a legal expert, but fooled that it was “surprisingly unfair conduct.” 

He added more sternly, saying that they see things like offering finance to companies to use Teams and that leans on a lot of existing market power.

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