Microsoft has confirmed acquiring SwiftKey for reportedly US$250 million. SwiftKey also happens to be the developer of the well-known Android keyboard app by the same name. The SwiftKey team will now be working in cooperation with Microsoft in the creation of Android as well as iOS apps, which will still be available on their designated markets.
Microsoft’s Word Flow Keyboard which is reportedly going to be launched on iOS and eventually to Android, will soon be integrated with SwiftKey’s technology. According to Microsoft, this acquisition demonstrates the company’s efforts to introduce major applications and technologies to platforms, whether from Windows to Android to iOS and so on.
In what seems like bad news to Android users who are fans of the popular keyboard app, how does this move affect them? SwiftKey is an keyboard app available for free in the PlayStore. This app is one of most popular keyboard app both on iOS and Android, operating in over 100 languages on more than 300 million estimated devices.
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In an attempt to push their way back in the growing smartphone world, which is largely dominated by Android and iOS, Microsoft has been getting their hands on third-party apps and software that seem to popular among users. With SwiftKey being the latest, some of the most recent apps the has company racked up include Wunderlist which generates to-do list kinds of software products, the Acompli email app and the Sunrise calendar app.
Though, there is a ton of money to be made from SwiftKey, this may not necessarily be Microsoft’s motivation for the purchase. It looks like Microsoft wants to employ SwiftKey’s artificial intelligence, which is has been known to make predictions by learning user behaviour. This is ideal for Microsoft who need to reinforce their weakening hold on the mobile market along with the thriving Al field that accurately predicts human behaviour.
Perhaps, Microsoft intends to access the user information acquired from the integrated cloud-based software on the SwiftKey and use it in the interpretation of unconscious user behaviour.However, we are not aware what exact user data SwiftKey collects or the ways its stored.
Microsoft could incorporate its own changes or even rebrand SwiftKey altogether, but considering the app’s present popularity, this may be an unlikely move. Microsoft would do more by keeping the SwiftKey brand dynamic, similar to what Facebook has done with Whatsapp since its acquisition.
Furthermore, there is a chance that Microsoft may be planning to revive its mobile system, and its looking to take up to best products that will assist it in accomplishing this.
The SwiftKey company is based in London and has up to 150 employees. From this Microsoft buyout, the co-founders Ben Medlock and Jon Reynolds will both be expected to collect over US$30 million each.
What are your thoughts on this acquisition? Share them with us in the comments.
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