Microsoft wants to reinvent productivity, officially acquires SwiftKey

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We told you yesterday that Microsoft was reportedly buying popular cross-platform mobile predictive keyboard maker SwiftKey, and both companies have now confirmed the deal. Here is what Harry Shum, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President for Technology and Research, had to say about it on the company’s blog:

In this cloud-first, mobile-first world, SwiftKey’s technology aligns with our vision for more personal computing experiences that anticipate our needs versus responding to our commands, and directly supports our ambition to reinvent productivity by leveraging the intelligent cloud. We believe that together we can achieve orders of magnitude greater scale than either of us could have achieved independently.

We’ll continue to develop SwiftKey’s market-leading keyboard apps for Android and iOS as well as explore scenarios for the integration of the core technology across the breadth of our product and services portfolio. Moreover, SwiftKey’s predictive technology aligns with Microsoft’s investments and ambition to develop intelligent systems that can work more on the user’s behalf and under their control. In the coming months, we’ll have more to share about how we’ll integrate SwiftKey technology with our Guinness World Record Word Flow technology for Windows.

So as we told you yesterday, Microsoft really believes it is the best company to leverage on the artificial intelligence behind SwiftKey’s predictive typing. And as Microsoft want to be recognized as a productivity-focused company, it really makes sense to keep the app a cross-platform solution.

SwiftKey co-founders Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock obviously share the same vision and enthusiasm as Microsoft:

Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Our mission is to enhance interaction between people and technology. We think these are a perfect match, and we believe joining Microsoft is the right next stage in our journey.
Our number one focus has always been to build the best possible products for our users. This will not change. Our apps will continue to be available on Android and iOS, for free. We are as committed as ever to improving them in new and innovative ways.

We’re really looking forward to see how SwiftKey is going to evolve these coming months, and how Microsoft’s own keyboards on Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile are going to be affected. And as the Surface Pro is competing against the iPad Pro for the lead in the detachable tablets market, a better Windows 10 virtual keyboard could really help Microsoft to improve on a product category it invented.