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The reach of Microsoft is not a threat



Slack CEO and co-founder Stewart Butterfield joins Sun Valley's annual Sun Valley media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, on July 10, 2019.

Gerry Miller | CNBC

Microsoft may be Slack's primary competitor, but widespread adoption of Microsoft software is not a big problem for Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and CEO of the messaging app.

The Microsoft Team Service is a direct competitor to Slack's messaging platform.

As part of the Office 365 Productivity App Bundle, the Team App is a trademark of Microsoft's Commercial Cloud category, which is reviewed by investors to track the transition from licenses to subscriptions. Office products and cloud services account for a quarter of Microsoft's total revenue ̵

1; the world's most valuable publicly traded company.

Last week, according to Microsoft, teams had more active users per day than Slack. A senior executive also suggested expanding the company's user base as the number of monthly users of Office 365 for commercial use reached 180 million.

"If it's based on the wider distribution, I do not think it's really a threat," Butterfield said Monday at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado.

Butterfield's view is based on the concept of Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen, disruptive of innovation. According to Butterfield, a product from a smaller company that appeals to customers could go against a company that does much more.

He pointed to Microsoft's desire to compete with Google on the Internet search market after gaining a dominant position in operating systems with Windows systems.

"Dozens of billions of dollars in that [search engine] and I do not know what their market share is now – 9% or something," said Butterfield to Fortune's Adam Lashinsky. With NetMarketShare, Micorsoft's search engine bingo for June was 8.6% for desktops and laptops.

Butterfield also referred to Google's efforts to popularize its social network Google+ after the rise of Facebook, including being played in Gmail and prompting users to use it to post comments on YouTube videos leave.

Exposing Google+ to so many people did not make a difference in the end, Butterfield said, and Google shut down the consumer product earlier this year.

"I think it's getting more and more difficult, not because anything is wrong with Microsoft, because at this point we have a hard time, given the size we have – it's difficult to really focus on quality, user experience and Having the ease of use the bigger you get, the harder it gets, "said Slack's CEO. "So, if the competition is based on the quality of the user experience and every effort is made, that would probably be more daunting for us."

Butterfield said Microsoft is an incredible company and a great collaboration partner – Slack recently released a calendar integration for Office 365. Microsoft has reportedly once tried to buy Slack, but has withdrawn.

"Whatever Microsoft does, we will still do the same thing we would do to customers," said Butterfield.

Slack shares rose 3% on Monday after analysts at Barclays and Canaccord Genuity had initiated a overweight and buy coverage review of the stock. "We've done dozens, maybe hundreds of hours of analysis for these companies and the segment, and Slack seems to be the winner in this area," the Canaccord analysts led by Richard Davis wrote at $ 38.62 it quoted on the day of its stock market debut on the New York Stock Exchange last month.

Watch: Slack is a company that investors should hold in the long term, analyst says


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