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Microsoft buys an app that can track how far you travel

Microsoft buys an app that can track how far you travel

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Microsoft announced today that it's acquired Mobile Data Labs, the startup behind leading mileage-tracking app MileIQ, for an undisclosed sum. While not the most riveting piece of software, the acquisition marks the continuation of Microsoft's effort to gain a foothold in mobile through scooping up popular apps — productivity apps, in particular — that can be tied into Windows services.

Mobile Data Labs was founded by Dan Bomze and Chuck Dietrich in 2011 and its mileage app, which has been the top grossing finance app on the iOS App Store for 20 months now, counts more than 1 million users. Aimed at small business employees and freelancers, MileIQ automatically logs mileage for its users and allows them to calculate their tax deductions. It looks like Microsoft will let the team continue building mobile productivity apps for now.

Another Microsoft acquisition to gain an edge on mobile

Microsoft's Windows Phone software has yet to break more than 3 percent market share globally, leaving the company without a substantial base of devices to install its own software. Starting last year, it began buying up work-related apps of all types to go along with its efforts to put Office on competitors' devices. Those include the teams behind calendar app Sunrise, which Microsoft purchased back in February, and Acompli, the mobile email client Microsoft acquired in December and rebranded as Outlook. (Microsoft announced last month that it would begin merging those two apps into one piece of software.) And in June, Microsoft acquired German software startup 6Wunderkinder GmbH, maker of the to-do list app Wunderlist.