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Microsoft CEO reportedly nixed proposal to acquire Slack for $8 billion

The CEO and co-founder of Microsoft reportedly passed on an internal proposal by one of their top executives to acquire the business-based messaging service Slack. The idea was to spend as much as $8 billion on the deal.

According to TechCrunch's sources, the idea to buy Slack came from Qi Lu, Microsoft's Executive Vice President, Applications and Services Group, which is in charge of divisions like Bing, Office 365 and Skype. The report states:

"Microsoft eyed Slack as a potential acquisition target for as much as $8 billion, TechCrunch has heard. But an internal campaign around making an offer failed to drum up support. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and CEO Satya Nadella were among those unconvinced by the idea, with Gates pushing instead to add more features into Skype to make it more competitive with Slack in the business market, our source says."

There's no word if Microsoft made any formal offer to Slack. Both companies would not comment for TechCrunch's article.

Source: TechCrunch

149 Comments
  • Yeah, spend 8 billion in making skype better. Sometimes you have to invest in your own products rather than buying everything else.
  • Totally Agree.  Skype is already bigger and has brand recognition.  Improve it and if Slack does something else, bring it to Skype.
  • Slack is getting huge. We all have skype for business and much prefer slack. We're trying to push for it's use company wide.
  • It's the truth. People are downvoting you because they apparently don't want to hear it, but you said nothing offensive or untrue. My entire company just switched to Slack.
  • Well because this is Microsoft-centric web site and we know there are rabid fanboys around here (not all) that are salty with those kind of comment. :(
  • They might be downvoting not necessarily to disagree with the statement, but with the implication that they should have bought Slack, rather than focusing on improving Skype.
  • Or because Slack isn't actually getting huge. Posted via the Windows Central Beta App for my Lumia 950 XL
  • They might be too late. Skype is far from being Slack when it comes to features and team communication.
  • That's what Lync/Skype for Business is for. It's been around for almost 10 years, starting as Office Communications Server.
  • I wonder when FrontPage will come back? Posted via Universal Windows App on W10
  • Lol, FrontPage
  • Lol! I used that to make a web page for my games when I was a kid. :P
  • This was like a really great motivational comment! I really hope that's what they end up doing too. I love Skype because it's essentially the only video calling app that is on EVERYTHING. Zachary Bowling - ZAD Apps
  • Slack is adding voice and video features soon. And Slack in on everything...
  • Yeah, I am aware and I noticed. Last time I checked, it wasn't on the Xbox One Zachary Bowling - ZAD Apps
  • with 8 billion invested in skype (for business) there should be next to no limitation on what features can be integrated
  • And after 3-4 days.. We will see an article.. "Microsoft has reportedly acquired Slack for $8 billion to improve Skype".
  • Dude... the same thing is done by the other competing companies ... sometimes they do this just to get access to patents.
  • Okay, so if you're big then you'll buy others just to protect your own product.. Wow.
  • No, they need the patents for their future products, like Google buying some robotics companies before they started making their self driving cars. Just to avoid expensive court trials for patent infringing ... so they just buy what they need.
  • No need to argue with many ignorant dudes. Somehow it's become cool these days to just talk without any deep knowledge of internal tech company operations :-(.
  • Patents are cool yo, but they need tech-widgets and whimmering tool jazz and stuff. Not just patents.
  • That's not a new concept
  • Patents, developers, consumers...
  • As it is with many big companies...including apple Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
    On the Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL for Windows 10
  • lol Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • And since then Skype and slack both are getting worse in windows though they work great in iOS or Android! Lol
  • iOS even has it's OWN PERSONAL EXCLUSIVE RINGTONE FOR SKYPE. and not for WP. Amazing.
  • Skype OS iOS is a very mediocre experience. I actually prefer it in 10 now that it is built in to messaging. (when it works right...)
  • I did not write a single line about experience:-) I wrote about ringtone exclusivity, which should be on WP but is on iOS.
  • I can't speak with any certainty, but do you know if there was, or wasn't, any deal to have that exclusive ringtone? I mean it's very possible Apple paid MS to do this, or Apple told MS they can't publish the app without it.
  • Pretty sure in 5 years Google will buy Windows division to improve its Chrome OS...
  • That's better. Invest in skype properly and make it better. First and foremost make windows phone app better. That will be good for users. :)
  • Haha, agreed. Zachary Bowling - ZAD Apps
  • I just hope they understand "make it better" doesn't mean "add more features." It's all about how easily you can perform the tasks you want to achieve, and there's a reason why Slack is becoming so popular among teams. Skype is still comparatively far more cumbersome. Just adding features usually makes that type of problem worse.
  • Exactly. Windows phone skype app still don't have basic search functionality, better user profile management and many other usefull things. That's the main concern over anything else. Treat better, get better.
  • Yeah, now that 8 billion should be put in the good use to improve Skype that's badly needed. It seems like Microsoft for a long time forgotten about they have Skype already, so does Skype forgot that they're part of Microsoft.
  • All three of us.
  • How many companies MS has acquired till now? I guess more than 100
  • Is that a bad thing? I think not Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
    On the Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL for Windows 10
  • Im not complaining.. Just want to know
  • Some sort of comprehensive list would be interesting to see. Posted from WC 920, 1520, 920, 635, 640 950XL
  • Xamarin is the 194th.
  • Hahahahaha... Great! Let's make it 200!! Microsoft should buy Google also to make bing better :-)
  • Microsoft missed that opportunity long time ago...even missed the acquisition of facebook.
  • Microsoft should buy Apple also to make Windows More Stable..
  • Enough troll..now stop.
  • Sure.
  • Nope.
    They need to buy iOS & Android to make WP better.
  • Is there any US money left for Microsoft?!
  • Not from their mobile phone division...
  • They have a few more years to fool around and then it will be over...
  • They really need to improve Skype app on all Windows platforms. The Win32 app version is too slow. The new Skype Messaging and Video apps aren't reliable for notifications. Skype on Windows phone 8.x is a torture if you have used it on the Android or iOS.
  • I agree Skype has a lot to improve. I get messages on my phone HOURS after they are sent sometimes. Sometimes I'll get a notification on my phone, but not my desktop, or vice versa.
  • Yea c'mon, WhatsApp is so reliable for me... I want skype to be the same
  • You're lucky to get notifications. If someone sent me a voice message, I get to know it via email. I don't know why MS hasn't done anything to make Skype better on Windows. It acquired Skype years ago. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Everything Microsoft touches turns into sh*t: Nokia, Skype...
  • Ure supposed to get a notification on either your phone or your pc, not both
  • Correct. And it is the same no matter which messaging app you are using; Viber, Telegram, or any other messaging app.
  • That is when you have a Universal App. Skype has a different win32 app for desktop which has nothing to do with the notifications that you get on your phone.
  • Guess they need to work with ActiveSync team now
  • What MS has done with Skype since acquisition has been an absolute embarassmemt. Windows 8 should have had the best Skype experience on any platform built in from the beginning.
  • Skype has been allowed to operate as a seperate entity.
  • That doesn't give them an excuse of Skype suck on Windows platforms
  • Well if he is in charge of Skype than we can say goodbye to slack in the next 5 years. He knows how to ruin a product with potential 
  • I don't think Slack is even worth 8 billion. Plus it's too redundant. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Agreed.  From what I can tell Yammer does everything that Slack does.
  • Who the heck uses Yammer?
  • Well, Yammer is a direct competitor to Slack, unfortunately Microsoft seems forgotten about it and I haven't heard for a long time any improvements about it. More and more company is using Slack while Yammer seems like not under the radar. Seriously what's happening with communication services such as Skype and Yammer?
  • Microsoft is only good at two things,
    1. Creating unwanted overly praised hypes which eventually shut down. ( Windows Mobile CE, Project Astoria)
    2. BUYING COMPANIES. Every week MSFT has to buy a new company.
  • What's your problem?
  • Ahh.. Nothing :-)
  • Haha. Good ol' ranting I guess :P
  • More like trolling.
  • Buying companies and technologies is a GOOD thing for companies to do...not sure what your poin is. Google - 188 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Google​) Apple - 78 (​https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Apple
  • The company I work for has been acquiring numerous smaller ones within the last few years and guess what?  We're now one of the largest worldwide in our sector.
  • Wouldn't mind MS buying up Slack, but for 8 Billion??! That's way too high of an asking price. Wow.
  • Pay 8 billion to developers to make better APPs and new apps to close the gap !!
  • That will never happen :P cuz wp OS is itself unfinished and very terrible, unless it becomes good enough, no use of making new apps, when the base itself is not good then how will it handle big apps and buildings?
  • ^ That's very smart. Don't make apps because OS is in development. lol
  • Just ignore his comments, he's just trolling.
  • Kamesh, can't you go and troll elsewhere? Please.
    You're boring me...and no doubt boring others too
  • I really did not know that you cannot handle truth.. Sorry, please take medicine to handle it
  • My company has been using skype for about a year and it's pretty good. It seems to get updated on a regular basis, which is nice. We recently have started rolling out Office365 For Business, which comes with Skype For Business... and..m oh my God, it's horrendous when compared to personal skype. It sucks because there are some really cool features that integrate Skype For Business with Outlook, but there's an insane amount of odd things and other short comings that will prevent me my office from switching from personal Skype to Skype For Business. In fact, I can't see how any organization could possibly use Skype For Business as a communication tool. It's just that bad.
  • What are you actually trying to say?
  • Skype for business is quite suited for my company but then again my company is Microsoft :P
  • What are you actually trying to say? Prannav?
  • The OP says that he has had a terrible experience with sfb. I say that it's been quite nice for me as ties well with O365 services as we get all of it for free as i work "with" Microsoft. P.S: I'm still in high school
  • Could you actually describe any of those "insane amount of odd things?" I've been using Lync and Skype for Business for years and I think it's the best real time communications platform out there. You can seamlessles switch from an IM session to a voice chat to a full meeting with dial in users. There are apps on every platform and they all support way more features than consumer Skype. There's really no need to buy Slack when Skype for Business already exists.
  • Yep, agree. Works great in our company too. I don't know what he's talking about.
  • Here's one...
    You STILL cannot merge a personal and business Microsoft account.
    So, if someone has their life built around an old Hotmail account...that account cannot be used as a basis for the new business account. Store purchases, Skype contacts, Windows Phone data etc etc etc all cannot be merged into a business account.
    So very amateur.
  • Can this be done with competing services?
  • jeffgeno, hmm where do I begin.  First would be the instant message history.  I can't even begin to understand why it doesn't save the chat history like every other IM client does.  Instead it delivers pieces of the history with no rhyme or reason to my Outlook inbox?  This is probably the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen.  And I'm not alone on this one.  Over on the "Skype For Business Feedback" Forums (which Microsoft obviously ignores) there's several identical threads about the message history right on the first page with thousands and thousands of vote ups (at a glance i saw 4 separate posts with over 16,000 vote ups combined, dating back to July 2015,... but I'm sure there's more)  Now tell me... how do these people go to work every day and just completely ignore what people are asking for?! Lets see, what else... oh yeah... the audio quality of Skype (personal) is incredibly better than Skype For Business.  Sounds a bit muffled when compairing the two. I guess a good way to explain it would be less treble in SFB.  Also the audio canceling (or whatever you call it... when two people start talking at the same time).  Skype (personal) handles this so much better and both parties can actually still hear each other.  SFB seems like it auto-lowers the volume down making the other user not able to hear what you are saying.  So I'm constantly having to repeat myself.  I don't know if this is some kind of auto setting, but in Skype (personal) I don't have to change any settings.  It just works.   Now I understand that its two completely different programs that only share a similar name, but c'mon... how can noone at MS notice that the audio quality in SFB is inferior? Not being able to import some/all organization contacts.  Seriously... wtf.  We are a small shop and I want all my users to see all the other people in my company.  I need to be able to add my entire organization of contacts to each person's SFB client.  I don't want my end users have to search for each individual person in my company and add them to a group one at a time.  This is idiotic.  I understand there are large companies that use SFB with thousands of employees and you certanily don't want everyone to show up by default, but there should be an option to SHOW everyone and check off the people you want or check off all, rather than having to do it one at a time.   Drag and drop of files onto the chat window for sharing?  Ummm hello?!  Hasn't this functionality been around since Windows 1.0?  Who's asleep at the wheel in the SFB department?!?!?!? Hmmm... lets see...some nitpicking things... Having to double-click a user, then click the video button, THEN click start my video?  (How about a single click, guys?!)?  I mean wtf I could go on and on, but it's pointless to do so here.  It's actually pointless to make comments on the Skype For Business Feedback forums too apparently.  Man... if there's something that has over 16,000 votes and Microsoft isn't doing anyhting about it, I kinda feel back for the people who post an idea that only gets 10 votes.
  • Spot on...our users' biggest complaint is that they don't hae the same optoins as they do with Skype. SfB is clunky for the average users and is far from intuitive, especialy when you compare it to GoToMeeting. Simple things like adding an external user to a meeting, or simply generating a meeting link doesn't exist in the program (you have to create a meeting request first to get the link!?). Sure there is the "Meet Now" button, but that is only good for use with internal users. If MS wants SfB to remain relevant in this space it needs to start fixing SfB up - moreso now that Slack is going to be integrating video and is clearly going to step on SfB's toes in this space.
  • Choose the Meet Now option, go to the menu in the lower right corner. choose Meeting Entry Info. Your URL, call-in numbers and a Copy button to paste the info somewhere else are right there.
  • Absofuckinglutely right. S4B is complicated by design. Someone might argue, that integrating skype into Outlook would only require a server-side Exchange plugin. But no, MSFT must create a solution which is requiring not one, but two servers, hundred of GB of memory and 12 server cores. Or requires you to put your Exchange into the DMZ and sync all your AD with Office 365. Pathetic.
  • So some one thought it was a good idea to buy another messaging service for $8 Billion, to make the existing service [Skype], which was already pruchased for $8.5 Billion better?
  • Let's ask that to Daniel :P he always has very interesting and unconditional explanations for all these things Microsoft does :P
  • $8 billion seems like a lot.
  • Not really when you look at the market for these
  • I guess you are the marketing manager at Microsoft? :P you were there when they decide the price :P
  • Haha, no. I'm an MSP tech but as i have used slack, i believe it's a pretty neat technology.
  • I'm not a basher of Skype. Nor all things Microsoft. It would make me a hypocrate since I have fed my family and sent kids to college all due the software that comes out of Redmond. But I AM a big fan of Slack!  Those guys and gals over there are an amazing organization. And I always get the felling they are having a blast doing what they do. Coders with personality. :) Good stuff. I wish them great success regardless of which way things go for them.
  • Anybody ever get the feeling that Microsoft lost some talent? They have gems that come once in a blue moon from a talented team like the Zune app, or the Xbox team, or surface team. But the lack of consistency in other areas is very apparent. It's like Microsoft used to be full of talent and able to make great software, but lost a few engineers or programmers along the way to competitors. I just feel that by now skype should be dominating (more so in features across the spectrum, not market), windows 10 should be further, and services like Groove should be miles ahead
  • I get that feeling too, but then you look at stuff coming out of the Azure platform on a monthly basis and it becomes clear that most of the geniuses in the company have been assigned to the Azure platform. My company uses most features on Azure and their offering blows AWS platform out of the water. We also consult with a few of their program managers and I am telling you, they are red hot. Azure is the fastest growing sector within MS and I think as a former head of Azure himself, Satya is simply putting his best eggs into that basket, and understandably so as they have a chance to catch AWS who is inexplicably the market leader. Personally I would put Scott Hanselman in charge of mobile to just sort it out, a hardcore developer who is also a great influencer within MS.    
  • The situation was going to change. Monopoly is bad who so ever the company is. Microsoft didn't realise that their oem employees would give competition. I guess all those ppl used to work at Microsoft now they have other job opportunities to work. As everyone wants to earn money. Microsoft realised this only when Satya took the company. Gates time was the best for Microsoft but he had monopoly. Ballmers time Microsoft did more research but always failed in market. Now Satyas job is to convert those research work done under Microsoft unde Ballmers leadership. Microsoft still has talented ppl. But their Culture of previous CEOs ruined their opportunities.
  • Money can better be spent buying Steam. Do that, and merge it with the Windows Store.
  • LOL. Steam will never ever let Microsoft ruin it :p
  • Yeah. I'm sure for the right price they will get all philosophical and pass on mega cash.
  • Dude if you hate Microsoft this much why are you even here. Get if this site you troll.
  • Who said I hate Microsoft??????????? I love Microsoft. :-/ I really do :-/ but they are not everytime right :-/ please just be practical :-/
  • What does right or wrong have to do with what I said?
  • Same here. MS is my favorite tech company, but they aren't perfect. The yes-men who populate this site make me want to explore other alternatives though.
  • Did you not read the numerous comments about Microsoft ruining everything??
  • I REALLY WISH THAT HAPPENS!!! It would be amazing. I guess that happen or that Microsoft will compete really well with them as recently Microsoft stopped providing steam gift cards in my region on tech rewards.
  • Good. IRC has no future.
  • they should purchase teamviewer or logmein and integrate unattended remote access via skype/skype for business
  • Yeah I think Microsoft have invest that money Mobile apps to close that gap between apple and google
  • This would be a ridiculous waste of money.  This is Silicon Valley funny money valuation.  It's a chat app with a moderate number of users and good mindshare.  In terms of actual customer base and revenue, Slack is probably worth in the 10s to hundreds of millions at best.  Duplicating and expanding its functionality in an internal project could be done for 5% or less of the proposed purchase price.  
  • Its the users they're at after
  • Considering they have Skype/Lync, Sharepoint and Yammer I can see not wanting to make the investment.  I would see this as more of a block play than an IP play.     Slack seems to be pretty popular amongst the blog community but in the Enterprise I don't see it being a threat.  Too much investment in MS tech.
  • Why the hell are they investing so much into solutions they already have? What a waste of money...
  • Umm, they aren't. Article: "Microsoft CEO reportedly NIXED proposal" That means they didn't do it.  
  • Invest that 8 billion dollars in making & designing windows phones instead of keeping on buying other companies all the time
  • Ohhhhh
  • I agree that they should not buy slack. Skype is already a well known product, and its pointless to spend 8 BILLION on a competitor.
  • If Skype can do it, why spend as much on Slack as they did to get Skype? Honestly, I still don't even know what Slack is.
  • Exactly
  • Never heard about slack before
  • Yeah
  • Is slack better than Skype?
  • Overvalued.
  • Skype fo businesss is there. Better they improve and keep improving skupe for avg users.
  • Impossible. S4B is a severely broken, unnecessarily complicated hog.
  • RIP Slack
  • Skype... business.... Currently, Skype Manager is being devalued by cancelling managed accounts. MSFT is pushing us to the vastly more complicated Skype for business. So, Mr. Gates stop talking rubbish. They should buy Trello.
  • They are saving that $8billion to buy snapchat.
  • Bad investment. Just use that money to buy SPOTIFY. they have the lead.
  • When u thinking to buy companies such as slack. Ur thinking how we gonna use it and integrate it with other products. In Microsoft case Spotify comes nowhere as an investment and would be just another app namesake. Slack is a program where Microsoft would find it really good in their productivity business.
  • Bring Bill Gates back
  • Trusting the Skype team to get anything right is putting a lot of faith in them. They still can't get synced notifications right, or feature parity on their different versions, and have spent years scrambling about in circles trying to make the whole platform a true modern one. 
  • Office 365 Planner is a better product, just release it already!
  • The best is for Microsoft to buy snap porn oops snap chat to catch them while they are young and easily manipulateable.
  • Thank the heavens!!  We use Slack extensively for work and it's turned out to be pretty useful.  If Microsoft bought it our anti-Microsoft former Oracle and Google executives and IT would have done something to make us stop using it.  Like they did with Office 365 and Google Apps.  They convinced the company that we could save money going from top-tier Microsoft Office 365 to lowest tier Google Apps.  Well, duh! They aren't even competing with the same feature set.  Oh, how I loathe using Google Apps. Thankfully, our supervisors kept us licensed in 365.  We still have to use gMail but win some and lose some. 
  • Good guy Bill gate Respect :)
  • LOL ms seeing slack is a threat
    So ms rushed to buy them to eliminate the threat
  • That's what corporates do today and start up earns billion today. Either sell it or suffer on long run. But some companies like facebook are smart. Earlier Facebook's position wasn't that great 10 years back where Zuckerburg was asked that let others buy his companies. Now see they saw threat from instagram they bought them, threat from WhatsApp they bought them. And then now comes snap chat. Facebook wanted to buy them but Evan Speigel refuses to sell. Now it depends where in the next 3 years snap chat is. If their down no one would buy them until any social network superior to fb and snap chat conquers.
  • When will Microsoft buy windows 10 mobile and improve the OS? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • If MS ever buys W10M its only to close it down.