Slack announced its purchase of AI-infused email app Astro on Monday but did not offer financial details of the acquisition. Astro apps will cease to work on Oct. 10 for Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon Alexa and Slack, according to Astro's announcement.
Signups for new users were disabled Monday but existing users, who rely on data between their Astro and Gmail or Office 365 accounts to sync, can switch to other email apps without data loss or changes, according to Astro.
Astro provides Astrobot for Slack and the email company had already sold messaging tools to Microsoft and LinkedIn. Astrobot allows users to check emails and schedules directly through Slack.
In a strategic move, Slack has embraced email, the very workplace tool its platform aimed to overshadow. But in its acquisition, Slack acknowledge the importance of email and the unlikelihood of it disappearing from workplace tools.
In doing so, Slack effectively eliminated an entire competitor from the enterprise communication market.
Though Microsoft Teams' hold on the market is unrelenting, the acquisition was enough to ruffle feathers. Microsoft has more users than Slack, but users are known to love the Slack experience.
Before, Slack was working to expand its customer reach, but now the company is systematically working to expand its capabilities and offerings. To ward of Slack, Microsoft has to embrace the features that set Slack apart, with "less corporate agility," according to Carrie Basham Young, CEO and founder of Talk Social to Me.