Salesforce starts competing with Microsoft PowerPoint

Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff speaks at the grand opening of the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco in May 2018. 

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff speaks at the grand opening of the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco in May 2018. 

Microsoft’s widely used PowerPoint software for creating slide presentations has some new competition from a familiar rival: Salesforce.

Salesforce’s Quip business, which already offers tools for word processing and working on spreadsheets, introduced Quip Slides on Tuesday. The software is available for free users of the service as well as paying corporate customers.

Microsoft and Salesforce have long competed in the market for customer relationship management software and also have rival products for internal chat. The companies partner in various ways, but the relationship has become strained since Microsoft outbid Salesforce for LinkedIn in 2016.

The introduction of Quip Slides is another sign that Salesforce is going more directly at the Office suite of productivity tools, a key part of Microsoft’s business. It’s also an alternative to Google Slides, which is part of Alphabet’s growing cloud business.

“It’s our goal with Quip to help nearly every person at nearly every company in the world to get their work done,” Kevin Gibbs, co-founder and CEO of Quip, said in an interview. Gibbs took the helm at Quip last year, when its previous CEO, Bret Taylor, was elevated to the position of Salesforce’s chief product officer.

Salesforce acquired Quip in 2016 for $582 million.

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