Microsoft Acquires UK-based AI firm, SwiftKey


Microsoft has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SwiftKey. The announcement has been confirmed by Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock, SwiftKey co-founders via SwiftKey blog. In a joint statement, the founders said;

We think these are a perfect match, and we believe joining Microsoft is the right next stage in our journey.

Microsoft is believed to have paid about £170 million ($250 million) to acquire SwiftKey. The acquisition means that Microsoft will take over the helms of affairs of Swiftkey’s highly rated, highly engaging software keyboard and SDK, which currently powers more than 300million Android and iOS devices. It however stated that their one focus has always been to build the best possible products for its users and that will not change with the acquisition. The report reads in part that, “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”.

According to Microsoft’s Harry Shum – Executive Vice President, Technology and Research, “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”. He further said, “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”.

With just over 5 years of the launch in Android and less than 3 years on the iOS, SwiftKey estimated that its users have saved nearly 10 trillion keystrokes, across 100 languages, saving more than 100,000 years in combined typing time. In the words of Shum, “Those are impressive results for an app…”

Microsoft’s plan is to continue to develop the SwiftKey’s keyboard apps for Android and iOS as well as explore scenarios for the integration of the core technology across the breadth of its product and services portfolio. It also said that in the coming months, it intends to integrate SwiftKey’s technology with its Guinness World Record Word Flow technology for Windows.

Congrats to Microsoft on the success of the acquisition.

SwiftKey is an input method for Android and iOS devices. Founded in 2008 by Jon Reynolds, Dr Ben Medlock and Chris Hill-Scott, Swiftkey uses a blend of artificial intelligence technologies that enable it to predict the next word the user intends to type. SwiftKey learns from previous SMS messages and output predictions based on currently input text and what it has learned. Its head office is in Southwark, London, and other offices are located in San Francisco, US, and Seoul, South Korea.

Microsoft Corporation, founded by Paul Allen and Bill Gates on April 4th 1975, is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Redmond, Washington, that develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers and services. It is the world’s largest software maker by revenue, and one of the world’s most valuable companies.

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