What is happening to Hipchat and Stride?
You might have already heard this, but Atlassian has announced a “strategic partnership” with Slack, which is basically a cute euphemism for “we’re outta this race”. Under this deal, Slack has acquired the IP of Hipchat/Stride, and Hipchat and Stride are set to be retired on Feb 15, 2019. The tens, if not hundreds of thousands of Hipchat/Stride users are being encouraged to move to Slack.
In a way, one can see the logic behind the move. Atlassian is not a new, pivoting startup. It’s a consolidated company with very successful products like Jira, Trello, and Bitbucket—many of them foundational for development teams on a daily basis. The company is one of the few players that has shown a good understanding of the collaboration market. However, even though Stride was launched very recently, rapid changes in the team communication market, and possibly the immediate financial incentive of “partnering” with Slack caused Atlassian executives to take this tough decision.
Some events in the competitive landscape that must have influenced Atlassian executives:
- Slack’s rapid growth and funding reports: as of May, they reported 8 million users
- Microsoft announced a free tier for Teams, which integrates with their Office 365 suite and has already more than 200,000 companies on their roster.
- Google’s Gsuite is releasing chat features and upgrading Hangouts to Google Meets.
- Facebook is already gaining fast growth through Workplace, a business version of the social network.
What about Hipchat and Stride users?
The decision might be reasonable from Atlassian’s point of view, but for its users, not so much. With the end of life date of Feb 15 2019, many organizations are left scrambling for an alternative. The fact that this is a rough deal for its users was acknowledged by Atlassian’s co-CEO through an apology to Stride and Hipchat users. The reaction of users is best summed up by the following irate user:
“This is pretty stupid. Why kill off products that many companies still use? There are some who don’t want, or can’t use, Slack.”
What does Atlassian’s community have to say?
Not happy..at all. Users have taken to publicly venting their frustration in the Atlassian community forum. The following user, for instance, raised huge concerns for on-premise customers that used Hipchat’s infrastructure to build in-house applications. And he is right. About a year ago Atlassian promised to invest more in Hipchat, and now they’re taking the exact opposite direction.
Of course, we would expect a contingency plan from Atlassian, but they came up with this: Atlassian doesn’t have an actual recommendation for an on-premise version…
Other users complained about the huge price differential between Hipchat at $2/user/month and Slack at $8/user/month, making Slack nonviable for them. Others said they simply don’t like Slack!
What you should know about the Hipchat retirement announcement
- No new signups are allowed since July 26th, 2018.
- Existing users can only access Stride and Hipchat Cloud until February 15th, 2019, the end of life date.
- Existing server customers will have support until the end of their license period.
- Atlassian is currently developing ways to help existing customers to move to Slack. However, if your company cannot use Slack, you’ll receive customer support.
The Slack + Atlassian combo doesn’t work for developers
Team Communication products like HipChat, Spark and Slack are heavily used by IT teams. Hipchat and Stride were especially suitable for these teams because Atlassian also owns other products like Trello and Jira which are widely used by IT teams. This allowed for tight integrations. Even though Slack has integrations with these products, it is hard to see how it will match what Hipchat and Stride used to offer.
Though Hipchat and Stride users have been forced into the situation of looking for alternatives, on the brighter side, they have scores of alternatives to pick from. You may consider other Hipchat and Stride alternatives here: