Microsoft has already got hands on of the best mobile keyboards out there, but according to new report it may soon own another great one. Dealing with SwiftKey, Microsoft is said to be purchasing it for almost $250 million, with plans to announce the acquisition this week. Officially, Microsoft said it has “nothing to share at this time” and SwiftKey declined to comment on “rumors [and] speculation.” What’s up now!
Swiftkey is of course one of the top-most keyboard apps on iOS and Android. It launched on Google’s mobile OS in 2010 and released for iOS download in 2014. Around that time, Swiftkey switched from selling its app to offering in-app payments for new keyboard themes. The Financial Times report suggests that Swiftkey may not have been successful in financial matters at it hoped so, but would make some given the spread of its main feature — a swipeable keyboard – as default option on many smart-phones.
Strange here is that why Microsoft is planning to buy a keyboard app when it already has a better one, and to make some noise, Microsoft may be more interested in Swiftkey’s research into artificial intelligance. For Android keyboard, Swiftkey has recently rolled out a new version of app that uses a neural network instead of its standard algorithms when predicting words. Research on that – and the team working on it – can possibly be applied to a lot more than keyboards, so the Swiftkey app itself could only be one part of what Microsoft is interested in there.
Buying Swiftkey at a very basic level would still add another great app to Microsoft’s roster. It’s been buying up talented developers and popular apps, like Sunrise and Acompli, as part of its shift to a strategy of providing services across devices and mobile platforms. Acquiring Swiftkey would give it another strong name across both platforms – specifically on Android, where Microsoft particularly shown a lot of interest in developing custom experiences.
And finally the time will decide what and why Microsoft willing to buy Swiftkey paying a whole $250 million for the mobile-based keyboard.
(Owning Swiftkey Reports: The Financial Times)