Tech Industry

Slack is teaming up with Hipchat -- only to kill it off

Hope you like Slack! Hipchat and Stride users are about to be migrated over.

Over 8 million people use Slack every single day to communicate in online teams, for work and sometimes play -- including us here at CNET -- and that number's about to get bigger now that Slack is kinda-sorta merging with its rival, Atlassian's Hipchat. 

According to tweets from Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, the new partnership with Atlassian (which also makes popular bug tracking software Jira, as well as Confluence, Bitbucket, and Trello for project management) means both Hipchat and its more recent team collaboration software Stride won't continue to exist -- they're getting killed off in favor of Slack.

Technically, Slack says it isn't the one buying Hipchat and Stride and killing them off -- rather, Slack is buying the intellectual property behind them, and Atlassian is the one swinging the axe. But since they're happening at the same time, it's roughly the same thing. Either way, Hipchat and Stride users will have to migrate to Slack (or somewhere else) and money is changing hands.

In an official blog post, Atlassian VP of Product Management Joff Redfern explained the decision like this:

"Over the past year, however, the market in real-time communications has changed pretty dramatically. And throughout that change, one product has continued to stand out from the others: Slack. While we've made great early progress with Stride, we believe the best way forward for our customers and for Atlassian is to enter into a strategic partnership with Slack and no longer offer our own real-time communications products." 

Part of the change in the market for real-time communications is the recent arrival of a new challenger: Microsoft Teams. While Slack is already pretty well established, big business hasn't necessarily switched over from email yet -- and a strategic alliance between Slack and Atlassian could help challenge Microsoft's big business relationships.

Without Hipchat and Stride, Atlassian hopes to put its resources towards "expanding its offerings for technical and IT teams" (like Jira) and creating better integrations between its products and Slack itself. In a statement, Slack's chief product officer April Underwood said Atlassian's Jira, Trello, and Bitbucket have already been installed by hundreds of thousands of Slack teams.

According to an official FAQ, Stride will close sign-ups on July 26, 2018, and existing customers can keep using Stride and Hipchat until February 15, 2019 -- unless they pay for Hipchat Data Center & Hipchat Server, in which case Atlassian will honor existing contracts.

Here's all the end-of-life dates, according to the companies:

  • Stride: February 15th, 2019
  • Hipchat Cloud: February 15th, 2019
  • Hipchat Data Center (v3.0): June 22nd, 2019
  • Hipchat Data Center (v3.1): September 26th, 2019
  • Hipchat Server (v2.1): December 8th, 2018
  • Hipchat Server(v2.2): May 30th, 2019 
  • Hipchat Server (v2.4): June 30th, 2020

Slack declined to say how much it paid for Atlassian's intellectual property 

Correction, 2:08 p.m. PT: Though an earlier version of this post stated that Slack was buying Hipchat and killing it off, as reported by Bloomberg, it turns out that Slack is only buying the intellectual property and Atlassian will wield the axe.