back to article Cut us some Slack: $27bn+ later, collab tool officially belongs to Salesforce

Salesforce has completed its long-awaited mega-slurp of Slack Technologies, Inc for an eye-watering $27.7bn. The intention to buy was made public back in December 2020, when the business run by Marc Benioff said: "Slack will be deeply integrated into every Salesforce Cloud." The CRM firm said Slack, which at the time had …

  1. Allonymous Coward
    Windows

    Microsoft has, over the years, pointedly remarked that its Teams collaboration environment has many more users than Slack. The subtext to those jibes is that Redmond is the outfit really driving the future of work and Slack is an upstart afterthought.

    I use both (paid) Slack and Teams. Teams is a qualitatively worse user experience in almost every way. Other opinions are available of course.

    This should count for something, though of course it often doesn't when it comes to workplace software (oh hi Oracle HR, SharePoint).

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Teams, bringing the user experience of an Amstrad emailer to a desktop near you

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Teams is "free"

      The full version of Teams is "free". Because MS Office is effectively a monopoly, so we have to subscribe to Office 365, which includes Teams.

      That bundling has not been good for Slack. We used free Slack and it's limits were getting very annoying, but then Teams became available and we switched. If Teams hadn't been bundled then we would have considered paying for Slack instead.

      (Note: I know lots of people are going to bring up OpenOffice/LibreOffice. But it's not 100% compatible with the MS Office that our customers/suppliers/partners use. And - like it or not - the man-hours and frustration and support effort and risks of dealing with that are perceived to be worse than just paying Microsoft for Office 365).

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Teams is "free"

        The full version of Teams is "free".

        If you assume personal data, behavioural data and privacy is not a currency.

        1. NetBlackOps

          Re: Teams is "free"

          Absent a rethink by the antitrust folks, it isn't a currency. My thought on this differs markedly from other economists.

      2. P. Lee

        Re: Teams is "free"

        I'm not sure office doc compatibility is much of an issue any more for inter-company use. Most IT Security policies frown on such sharing.

        MS Office is better than LibreOffice. They question is whether the cost is worth it, and that will depend on your use-cases.

        My inclination would be to put LibreOffice everywhere and then offer MSOffice if people can make a business case for it.

        I will say this though - the LibreOffice interface style looks horrific - random font sizes and colours in the icons - its a mess - but again, how much do you want to spend to fix it?

        1. hoola Silver badge

          Re: Teams is "free"

          Your are forgetting the main drivers;

          Email (Exchange Online)

          Outlook

          SharePoint

          There simply are no credible alternatives that companies are prepared to consider.

    3. P. Lee

      Ah Sharepoint. Turning perfectly good desktop applications like Excel into latency-bound crud.

      I think its just a psyop to make web-based excel look like a viable alternative.

  2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Mockery

    This is where current iteration of capitalism is wrong.

    Companies should not be allowed to buy other companies and grow too big to fail.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mockery

      But reaching the point of never being able to fail _IS_ a possible conclusion of capitalism, it's just that no one ever envisioned it becoming a reality.

      If I remove the corruption/greed/etc. from capitalism and look at its simple blueprint in its purest form, it shows a very strange path that becomes cloudier and less responsible the more one "succeeds" and seemingly will be allowed to eat itself (regardless of greed or giving). Eating itself is where "too big to fail" comes into play. I think for a long time (1000's of years) nobody really considered things that were "too big to fail" as capitalism, these things certainly existed, but back then they were thought of as requirements of society regardless of who succeeds or starves (i.e. military, society, governments, health). Today for the 1st world, things just aren't volatile like that anymore, they just aren't and now there's too many idle hands. We're witnessing what happens to capitalism once it goes beyond what anyone thought it would ever become when it was designed, when it made a lot of sense.

      Capitalism for 1st worlders is all we know, but I feel we're starting to know it very differently and that it may be time for it to be replaced, devolved or evolved... just certainly not leaving it how it is. Well, how about at least modified, as one should never become so "blessed" that they "can't fail", this just doesn't make sense in any way even though capitalism permits it. Sadly, capitalism doesn't even stop "at too big to fail"... keep reading its blueprint... it will become scary.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Mockery

        This text neatly describes the current situation. I'd call the current iteration "neo-feudalism".

        Nobody wants to be a serf anymore

      2. Crypto Monad

        Re: Mockery

        By "too big to fail", do you mean "so important to society that governments will be forced to bail them out" (like banks)? Or "so cash-rich that they can always buy up any upstarts that try to displace them?"

        I don't think Salesforce/Slack or even Microsoft fall into the first category. If they fail, it will be because they cease to innovate and their customers move to something which meets their needs better. The only requirement to stop this being catastrophic is to ensure that all customers have the right to export their data in full.

        Twenty years ago, everyone had a Nokia phone. It could have been argued at the time that they were "too big to fail". They failed - and the world moved on.

  3. Barry Rueger

    More mediocre software

    What baffles me is how much software these days is arguably just not very good. Slack is a case in point. I think that any user can see a dozen ways it could be dramatically improved. Microsoft products too. I can't imagine going back to Windows or MS Office, if for no other reason that periodically they just change everything with no warning, and no obvious reason.

    Say what you want about Open/LibreOffice, it's the same year in and year out, which makes it a lot more productive. I am a couple of decades beyond finding "novelty" appealing in work products.

    And don't get me started on phone apps; one-third poorly thought out interface and two-thirds intrusive ads. From a Google store that makes it all so difficult to find the one gem in dozens of pieces of utter garbage.

    The really crazy thing though is that I'd be happy to pay for the really good stuff, especially ad-laden services like Twitter. A few bucks a month to get an ad-free version would be wonderful. Or a Play Store that actually limits itself to products that are good.

    I guess we just need to hope that when Windows 11 becomes a monthly subscription service we'll see people abandon it.

    1. gggeek

      Re: More mediocre software

      Funny, but my impression of Slack is quite opposite.

      When we started adopting it at $company (software development biz), there was a lot of pushback from the more diehard open source fans, ready to scarifice themselves on the altar of pidgin and other house-managed, libre solutions.

      After a couple of months, 99% of the employees had voluntarily switched, and the sysadmins were ordered at gunpoint to shut down the irc server.

      No software is perfect, but I personally found the Slack interface to be extremely well done and functional, and the app to be remarkably bug free. Yes, the desktop app is built on Electron, and it is a resource hog, but it is probably the best Electron app I have seen so far.

      Sure, the interface has grown fatter over time, being currently cluttered with too many options and functions, but that's basically evolution of every software ever.

      For some of my colleagues, the strong selling point were instead the myriad of integrations available.

      MS basically store their lunch with a product which is vastly inferior, because of their monopoly position.

      Teams interface is an unholy mess, trying too hard to be at the same time email / videoconferencing / calendar / filesharing / project management and failing at all of them.

      Don't even get me started on how borked Ms idea of SSO is for anyone working as a conusltant and having to connect Teams to multiple customer's ADs...

      1. Barry Rueger

        Re: More mediocre software

        Sure, the interface has grown fatter over time, being currently cluttered with too many options and functions, but that's basically evolution of every software ever.

        That is one of my complaints, but honestly I find Slack clunky and unintuitive to the extreme. The editing function irritates me, and having thread pop up at the side of the screen is just strange. I'll acknowledge that some of these things are a matter of taste, but surely we can do better than this.

        Plus it feels like the 1980s....

    2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: More mediocre software

      It's an effect of low paid engineering and revolving door.

      People have no attachment to the company (maybe except the young who buy all the cult programming) and so they just try to survive until the next payday while browsing job boards at night and maybe living poorly trying to save every penny for starting their own business, as employment these days rarely gives comfortable living.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Goodbye to Slack

    this will be a death knell to the users and i predict this will drive away users in drove. also predict free Slack has a high likelihood of being a paid for app.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Goodbye to Slack

      Larry Ellison hates Salesforce, but Oracle replaced it's own messaging platform with Slack. I foresee fun ahead. TeeHee.

      1. czechitout

        Re: Goodbye to Slack

        To be fair, Larry Ellison hates everything which isn't Oracle.

      2. Ian 3

        Re: Goodbye to Slack

        Salesforce uses Oracle for it's back-end, but it really doesn't surprise me that Ellison hates his customers. I guess that is pretty pbvious whenever you use an Oracle product.

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