Well, that sure didn’t take long. It was only a month ago that the first rumors of Microsoft’s interest in snagging Swiftkey emerged, with Redmond confirming the story mere hours after it broke, and already, the acquisition is completed.
The mutually beneficial news was unveiled with surprisingly little fanfare by MS Executive Vice President Harry Shum on Twitter, and the financial details remain under wraps. Officially, that is, because off the record, we’ve heard Satya Nadella & co. were prepared to pay around $250 million for a company founded in 2008 and headquartered in London.
This is probably Microsoft’s highest-profile corporate purchase since Mojang’s acquisition in late 2014, though the Swedish video game developer behind smash hit Minecraft was followed by dozens of software producers, including a cloud security-focused outfit called Adallom, reportedly bought for $320 million last year.
At the end of the day, seeing as how the powerful Swiftkey keyboard is purportedly installed on more than 300 million Android and iOS devices worldwide, Redmond likely sealed quite the bargain here. Fully committed to further developing the ultra-popular Android and iOS app, and hopefully keeping it free to download and use, the tech giant will no doubt look to bake some of its advanced functionality into Word Flow.
It remains to be seen if perhaps the two services are to be merged into one, though Microsoft should think twice before killing off the respected Swiftkey brand. It’s not just the productivity people love, it’s also the name.