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Microsoft buys excellent predictive keyboard maker SwiftKey for $250 million

By Scorpus
Feb 2, 2016
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  1. If you've ever been frustrated with your smartphone's shoddy keyboard, you've probably been recommended SwiftKey as a replacement due to its excellent prediction engine. According to a report from The Financial Times, Microsoft has recognized the quality of SwiftKey's product, and has acquired the company for $250 million.

    The buyout will net founders Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock upwards of $30 million each, which is a pretty decent sum for a product they created only eight years ago.

    SwiftKey has reportedly been installed on more than 300 million devices worldwide, either through a free download from the Play Store or App Store, or via pre-installations on some devices. While SwiftKey does make some money from in-app purchases, they've also licensed their technology to other companies for their own stock keyboards or other applications.

    Microsoft appears most interested in the artificial intelligence technology behind SwiftKey, which allows the keyboard to make incredibly accurate predictive text suggestions. Considering Microsoft's own Windows Phone keyboard is pretty solid in the prediction department, the company probably has other interesting plans for SwiftKey's underlying technology.

    With the acquisition of SwiftKey set to be finalized next week, it will join a growing list of app purchases by Microsoft, including other productivity tools like to-do list app Wunderlist, email app Accompli, and calendar app Sunrise.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 910   +388

    CRAP!
    Time to download the last stable version of Swift key, before MS screws it up by adding this "feature" or that, and screws it up!
     
    Capaill and Darth Shiv like this.
  3. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,512   +503

    Efing awesome! This is what my windows tablet has been missing and I haven't been able to add.
     
  4. tomkaten

    tomkaten TS Addict Posts: 188   +89

    OMG... Swiftkey was my favorite keyboard, another one down the drain. I can see ads and mandatory logins through their outlook service in the future.

    Time to switch. TouchPal has by far the best predictions in my language, but it's so bloated and slow, it's almost unusable. Thank god there are many options in the play store.
     
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,557   +2,900

    "Microsoft appears most interested in the artificial intelligence technology behind SwiftKey, which allows the keyboard to make incredibly accurate predictive text suggestions. Considering Microsoft's own Windows Phone keyboard is pretty solid in the prediction department, the company probably has other interesting plans for SwiftKey's underlying technology."

    Sounds like to me they just wanted to buyout a competitor.
     
    p51d007 and wastedkill like this.
  6. AvalonMD

    AvalonMD TS Enthusiast Posts: 36   +42

    Geez, so much negativity by the Android/Linux crowd. Microsoft has contributed a ton of useful apps to both IOS and Android stores, both by way of their garage section and by way of official releases, which included the acquisition of smaller company's technologies. There is absolutely no basis on which you can attack them for purchasing a smaller company and integrating it into their other products, especially since BOTH Google and Apple do this all the time. Only your prejudice shines through when you exclude those company's from scrutiny. The Microsoft hate train derailed years ago, it's high time for you to move on.
     
    darkzelda, Hexic and hahahanoobs like this.
  7. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,512   +503

    You forgot the best part. Most of them are free.
     
    p51d007 and AvalonMD like this.
  8. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,509   +2,056

    They'll probably infuse that Cortana crap into it.
     
    p51d007 likes this.
  9. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Addict Posts: 251   +86

    I use SwiftKey, I really like it, but I hope Microsoft introduces some features of the Windows Phone keyboard.
     
  10. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 910   +388

    Darth Shiv likes this.
  11. RustyTech

    RustyTech TS Guru Posts: 865   +434

    I love you!! I've been looking for a place for old apks similar to oldapps[dot]com
     
  12. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,624   +377

  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,702   +1,886

    Ah, don't worry about it. All will be well after they force you into adopting "Swift Key 10".
     
  14. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Enthusiast Posts: 62   +19

    Sounds about right. Swiftkey is loved by many but is bulky and never worked the way I wanted. I had much better luck with A.I.Type and ultimately I kept Fleksy as my keyboard of choice. Minimal learning curve and it is super slim.
     
  15. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,512   +503

    My bread and butter is Swype + Dragon, before that I used SlideIT.
     
  16. Capaill

    Capaill TS Addict Posts: 291   +93

    Aw nuts. Are they going to turn it into a bug-ridden mess like Skype? At least we have loads of Indian-themed emoticons to look forward to ....
     
    Arris likes this.

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