HipChat and Stride to close as Atlassian sells assets to rival Slack

Slack and Atlassian

Slack and its rivals Atlassian have announced they are forming a strategic partnership that will see chat tools HipChat and Stride closed down.

As part of the deal, Atlassian has made an equity investment in Slack, while Slack has acquired the intellectual property rights for Stride and HipChat Cloud. Moving forward, Stride, HipChat Cloud, HipChat Server and HipDhat Data Center will all be discontinued, and users will be offered a migration path to Slack -- making it even stronger competition for Microsoft's Teams.

Slack says that the new partnership is driven by a joint vision, and Atlassian notes that "the market in real-time communications has changed pretty dramatically" adding that "one product has continued to stand out from the others: Slack". While the buyout might seem like an aggressive takeover and shutdown, both companies stress that they have been "partners and friends" for a long time, engaged in "spirited yet friendly competition".

Slack explains that it has already set up a migration tool to help move from Atlassian services, and talks a little about what the partnership means for users:

Atlassian will discontinue Hipchat and Stride, and provide a migration path to Slack for all their customers. We are purchasing the IP for Hipchat Cloud and Stride to better support that path to Slack, while Atlassian is making a small, but symbolically important investment in our business.

We're also committing teams on both sides to build deeper and more powerful integrations between Slack and the Atlassian family of products, which includes adding new functionality to the existing Slack integrations for Jira Server and Cloud (which, by the way, Slack uses daily) Trello, and Bitbucket, and building out new integrations with Confluence and other products.

The deal may seem slightly strange to some -- in making an equity investment in Slack, Atlassian is -- on the face of things -- paying to have some of its biggest products closed down. But the investment is described by Slack's Stewart Butterfield as "small but symbolically important":

Atlassian says that it is not abandoning its original vision:

We believe that this partnership is the best way to advance our mission to unleash the potential of every team. And it will allow us to improve our focus in other areas, including expanding our offerings for technical and IT teams. Hard choices help us reflect on what's most important to us -- our customers, our employees, our mission. We're deeply grateful for the trust our customers place in us daily and humbled by the many Atlassians who continue to create better ways for teams to get work done.

While it is possible to migrate from HipChat and Stride to Slack now, they will not be discontinued until February 15, 2019. Customers using HipChat Data Center and HipChat Server have support until the end of their license period.

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