Microsoft acquires SwiftKey 'in support of re-inventing productivity ambition'

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No, I've no idea what the title means either, but the idea is for Microsoft to use the experience and intelligence built into market leader SwiftKey to bolster Cortana, Word Flow and other interfaces with 'cloud and mobile'. The existing Android and iOS keyboards will continue to be developed, though no doubt some noses are out of joint this morning.

SwiftKey_Logomark_mdpi-232x80From the Microsoft blog post:

I’m pleased to announce that Microsoft has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SwiftKey, whose highly rated, highly engaging SwiftKey software keyboard and SDK powers more than 300 million Android and iOS devices. 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. SwiftKey estimates that its users have saved nearly 10 trillion keystrokes, across 100 languages, saving more than 100,000 years in combined typing time. Those are impressive results for an app that launched initially on Android in 2010 and arrived on iOS less than two years ago.

We love SwiftKey’s technology and we love the team that Jon and Ben have formed. That’s why today I’m excited to welcome the company’s employees to Microsoft. We believe that together we can achieve orders of magnitude greater scale than either of us could have achieved independently.

This acquisition is a great example of Microsoft’s commitment to bringing its software and services to all platforms. 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. In the interim, I’m extremely excited about the technology, talent and market position SwiftKey brings to us with this acquisition, and about how this further demonstrates Microsoft’s desire to bring key apps and technologies to platforms from Windows to Android to iOS.

Word Flow is already one of the best gesture-recognition keyboards on mobile. True, it's been messed up rather by the porting to Windows 10 Mobile, but that'll get fixed pretty soon. Hopefully. Add in extra intelligence thanks to SwiftKey's insights and it can only get better.

The long term goal is that you'll have to type/swipe less on your smartphone, of course, with intelligent software filling in more of the gaps in your interactions without you having to lift a finger.

Source / Credit: Microsoft