Mobile Microsoft buys excellent predictive keyboard maker SwiftKey for $250 million

Scorpus

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

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.

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Kibaruk

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

tomkaten

TS Maniac
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.
 

cliffordcooley

TS Redneck
"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.
 

AvalonMD

TS Enthusiast
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.
 

Kibaruk

TechSpot Paladin
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.
You forgot the best part. Most of them are free.
 

darkzelda

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

OutlawCecil

TS Evangelist
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.
 

Capaill

TS Evangelist
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 ....
 
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