Microsoft is announcing today that it has acquired SwiftKey, following a report from The Financial Times. SwiftKey is one of the most popular keyboard apps on iOS and Android, and Microsoft is planning to keep developing the keyboard app for Android and iOS. Microsoft already has its own Word Flow keyboard for Windows Phone that it's also bringing to iOS soon, but the company is now planning to integrate SwiftKey into its Word Flow keyboard for Windows.
Microsoft's SwiftKey deal is all about talent and AI
While Microsoft is clearly acquiring a keyboard app, the deal means a lot more for the software giant. The SwiftKey team will join Microsoft's research team and it's clear the company admires the artificial intelligence work SwiftKey has produced with its latest Android keyboard that uses a neural network instead of its standard algorithms when predicting words. "We love SwiftKey's technology and we love the team that Jon and Ben have formed," says Harry Shum, head of Microsoft Research. We believe that together we can achieve orders of magnitude greater scale than either of us could have achieved independently.
Microsoft's latest acquisition is yet another example of the company's continued to push to provide software and services on iOS and Android. Microsoft acquired Sunrise and Acompli, and the company has been producing a number of custom iOS and Android apps as part of its Garage program.