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Microsoft reportedly considered buying Slack, for which the company aimed a bid of as much as $8bn (£5.62bn, €7.27bn ). Slack currently has more than 2.3 million daily active users, of which 675,000 are paid subscribers.
The latest disclosure about the acquisition would not be surprising, as the company in 2015 told it had eight or 10 acquisition offers from companies, which are likely to be Salesforce, Oracle, Google and facebook, apart from Microsoft.
While Microsoft's executive vice president Qi Lu was the person behind the major push for Slack, co-founder Bill Gates and chief executive officer Satya Nadela were of the opinion to make Skype better instead, by pushing more features into it in order to make it more competitive with Slack, a source told Techcrunch.
Lu leads the productivity, communications, education, search and other information services at Microsoft. He also sets the vision, strategy and overall direction of the Applications and Services Group. He is also responsible for all of the research and development teams across Microsoft Office, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, Yammer, Lync, Skype, Bing, Bing Apps, MSN and the Advertising platforms and business group.
Lu was previously the president of the Online Service Division, where he led the company's search, portal and online advertising efforts. Before joining Microsoft, he worked with Yahoo for 10 years as a senior executive.
The $8bn acquisition is quite interesting for a startup, which was valued at $2.8bn in March 2015 and was approaching investors to raise more than $150m in funding for its messaging app that offers seamless communication among employees. Slack's current valuation, according to some, is between $3.5bn and $4bn.
As for Microsoft, it has acquired a number of companies such as SharePoint, Yammer, Lync and Skype, which suggests that Microsoft has enough to build a Slack competitor. Skype, meanwhile, has been adding more features to enhance its functionality for consumers and business. Some of the notable features are group video calling on iOS and Android, also Skype integration with Slack.