Microsoft buys SwiftKey with a focus on integrating its AI technology into mobile devices

Microsoft is ready to shell out about $250 million to acquire UK-based Swiftkey, the predictive keyboard maker, reported the Financial Times earlier today. Microsoft has confirmed the deal through its blog.

The Financial Times also reported that founders Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock who set up the company in 2008, will each make more than $30 million from the deal.

It would appear that, in essence the deal would be redundant for Microsoft, which has its own keyboard app called Word Flow — albeit available only on Windows Phones. But Microsoft is interested in the predictive technology that powers the SwiftKey app. Harry Shum, Executive Vice President, Technology and Research at Microsoft said in his blog, “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.”

Shum also mentioned they will reveal in due time how the company plans to integrate SwiftKey technology with its own Word Flow technology for Windows. He also mentioned in the blog post how the new technology, talent and market position that SwiftKey brings to Microsoft will help futher demonstrate the company’s intentions to bring key apps and technologies to platforms from Windows to Android to iOS.

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