Microsoft Corporation is already known for accidentally stumbling upon a smartphone keyboard that is currently pegged as the world’s fastest. However, it seems that the tech giant is still not satisfied. A report from Financial Times indicates that the company is eyeing to acquire another great smartphone keyboard maker, Swiftkey.
The publication claims that the SwiftKey deal is valued at $250 million. Acquiring another keyboard maker when it already has one and that too with such urgency makes us wonder what the tech giant is after.
The publication mentions the possibility that Microsoft is after the artificial intelligence research (AI) that is the basis of SwiftKey. The popular Android and iOS keyboard uses neural networks and AI to generate predictions instead of employing standard algorithms.
Adding SwiftKey to its ever-expanding roster would give Microsoft more leverage when it comes to third-party keyboards apps on iOS and Android. The company has been snapping up productivity apps along the way and in 2015, it roughly spent more than a billion dollars on acquisitions. Additions include Sunrise, a popular calendar app and Wunderlist, the impressive to-do list app.
Swiftkey could lend a hand for Word Flow, Microsoft’s own smartphone keyboard in terms of an improved predictive engine. Plus, the research conducted by SwiftKey team could greatly benefit Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana in the daily tasks she performs for users.
Microsoft Corporation released a statement updating the status of the acquisition that was first reported by Financial Times. Harry Shum, VP of Technology and Research at Microsoft, confirmed the acquisition but did not provide any financial details of the deal. He just indicated that the company has plans to integrate SwiftKey with Word Flow technology. The SwiftKey blog also confirms the acquisition, making it official, and follows the similar press policy as adopted by Microsoft.
Once the acquisition is complete, SwiftKey’s current team along with CEO Jon Reynolds and CTO Dr. Ben Medlock would get the opportunity to work with Microsoft’s great team and have nearly unlimited resources at their disposal.