News roundup: Salesforce picks up the Slack, Pai steps down, and Libra gets transformed

A roundup of this week's tech news, including Salesforce's mammoth Slack acquisition, a new Huawei ban deadline from the UK, and Libra's big name change.

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Salesforce targets Microsoft with $27 billion acquisition of Slack

Confirming reports filed last week, Salesforce has shelled out a massive US$27 billion (in an all-stock deal) to pick up enterprise chat platform Slack, marking the company's biggest acquisition to date.  The deal — which is the largest software-related acquisition since IBM's tie up with Red Hat — will enable Salesforce to build more of a unified offering for its enterprise customers, with Slack providing a long-sought dedicated collaborative/social element to their product portfolio.

Commenting on the acquisition, Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff said, "This is a match made in heaven. Together, Salesforce and Slack will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world."

The buy is being viewed as a largely positive one for Slack, as the company has struggled to take advantage of remote working practices and other opportunities offered as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. This is especially evident when compared to Microsoft, whose Teams platform has been thriving since March.

Salesforce will now be looking to take on Microsoft in this realm and leverage its existing customer and product ecosystem to lure more customers away from Teams, serving as a front to the company's customer 360 efforts. The cloud software provider already competes with Microsoft in the CRM (Dynamics vs. Sales Cloud) and analytics (Tableau vs. PowerBI) spaces, so the deal will no doubt be raising serious eyebrows at Redmond.

Interestingly, the deal has been less fruitful for Salesforce's share price has fallen by more than 8% since the announcement, indicating a bit of unrest amongst investors. One of the reasons for this, as TechCrunch reports, is possibly the sentiment that Salesforce has paid too much and that potential synergies aren't actually there. Time will tell, I guess.

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