Slack, the enterprise messaging service, after a lot of demand introduced voice and video calls just a few days ago. With this development, the company entered the domain of the more dominating services like Microsoft’s Skype and other platforms.

Apparently, Slack has been under the cross-hairs of multiple different companies who have wanted to acquire the firm. Microsoft, TechCrunch reports has been one of them for a while now. According to sources of TechCrunch, Microsoft was willing to go up as high as $8 billion in an acquisition involving Slack. Internal support was what was lacking in this decision and co-founder Bill Gates and Satya Nadella stood against the deal. Gates instead motivated the company to add more features to Skype to make it better and stand out more when compared to Slack.

Slack, after its previous funding round of $160 million in April 2015 was valued at $2.8 billion. The deal was apparently going to be led by EVP of applications and services Qi Lu. Lu has been in charge of taking care of productivity, communications, education, search and other information services at Microsoft. His other aims include in-depth work with applications like R&D for Microsoft Office, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, Yammer, Lync, Skype, Bing, Bing Apps, MSN and the Advertising platforms and business group.

According to reports, Slack’s current value lies somewhere between $3.5 billion to $5 billion. So, it is interesting that the Redmond giant was willing to pay that much extra to acquire a competing service to Skype.

This could be the result of the effect Slack has on the market. The service not just connects employees and workplaces, it integrates so many other external applications that performing any task becomes less of a chore.

Skype has also been trying to become more user friendly than it currently is in recent times. Features have been rolling out for the service like hailstorms including group video calls, multi-platform support, enhanced Skype for Business to more platforms and even Skype integration with Slack.

Slack is currently increasing in popularity by the day. The service currently has 2.3 million daily active users, 675,000 of them paying. This makes the platform a serious competitor in this sector.

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