Microsoft's acquisition spree of 2016 continues. After making the second largest tech acquisition of all times, Microsoft has acquired a messaging-app developer Wand Labs. Founded in 2013 by IIT-Delhi alumnus Vishal Sharma, California-based Wand Labs builds messaging technology for apps. Vishal was previously the vice president, products at Google.
Wand Labs will be shutting down their service. Vishal mentioned that familiar elements of Wand Labs' work can be seen in the future.
Wand Labs aims to strengthen its position in the emerging era of combining the power of human language with advanced machine intelligence. The acquisition builds on and extends the power of the Bing, Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Windows platforms to empower developers everywhere.
The terms of the acquisition were not made public.
David Ku, Corporate Vice President, Information Platform Group at Microsoft said in a statement,
This acquisition accelerates our vision and strategy for 'Conversation as a Platform' which Satya Nadella introduced at our Build 2016 conference. Wand Labs' technology and talent would strengthen Microsoft's position in the emerging era of conversational intelligence where we bring together the power of human language with advanced machine intelligence, connecting people to knowledge, information, services and other people in more relevant and natural ways.
During the Build conference in March, Nadella shared his plans of envisaging a technological future where computer software can learn the human language and have natural conversations with people. He said that Microsoft wants to take the power of human language and apply it more pervasively to all of the computing interface and interactions.
The acquisition builds on and extends the power of the Microsoft's search engine Bing, its cloud computing platform Azure, Office 365 and Windows platforms to empower developers everywhere. David believes that Wand's expertise around services mapping, third- party developer integration and in the area of intelligent agents and chat bots(conversational interfaces) makes it a "great fit" to join the Bing engineering and platform team.
According to Vishal, Wand's experience with semantics and messaging are a "natural fit" for the work already underway at Microsoft, especially in the area of intelligent agents and cognitive services.
Our goal was to leverage mobile scale, natural language capabilities and third-party services to enable users to easily access and share any authorized service or device. The work we’ve been doing with predictive assistance and delegated authority is at the leading edge of a broader technology shift that is redefining the information industry.
Earlier in 2016, Microsoft has reportedly acquired six startups including the $26.2 billion deal with LinkedIn and $250 million acquisition of Swiftkey.