Slack says Microsoft's CEO claiming credit for the app's success is 'as silly as it is irrelevant'

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Slack says Microsoft's CEO claiming credit for the app's success is 'as silly as it is irrelevant'
Johannes Eisele/Getty Images
  • A Slack executive dismissed the Microsoft CEO's assertion that Microsoft propped up Slack's success.
  • Nadella in an interview with Bloomberg said: "Would Slack have even existed" without Windows?
  • In a statement to Insider, a Slack VP called Nadella's comments "silly" and "irrelevant."

A vice president at Slack had a fiery response to comments from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella claiming partial credit for the messaging app's success.

In the interview with Bloomberg Television published on Wednesday, Nadella cited Microsoft's "free access" and lack of recurring developer fees as a major reason for Slack's success, saying, "Would Slack have even existed if it was not for the free access they had on top of, say, the Windows platform?"

Slack certainly thinks it would have.

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In an emailed statement to Insider, Jonathan Prince, the messaging app's vice president of communications and policy, said "the idea that Slack wouldn't exist without the company that has tried to copy and then destroy it is as silly as it is irrelevant."

Read more: These charts show how use of Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Zoom has skyrocketed thanks to the remote work boom

"The only relevant question is whether Microsoft is illegally abusing its dominance and tying Teams to its apps and services in order to protect its chokehold on enterprise software and prevent the discovery and adoption of new and innovative tools," Prince said.

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Slack filed a complaint last year with the European Commission accusing Microsoft of antitrust activity, Insider reported. The complaint stated that Microsoft's bundling of its Teams chat software, a Slack competitor, with the Office 365 operating system, was an unfair and anticompetitive practice.

"It's an especially brazen bait and switch for Mr. Nadella to ask us to ignore their current illegal behavior because their past illegal behavior doesn't include an attempt to block the launch of Slack on PCs back in 2013," Prince added.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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