At the beginning of the week, Microsoft acquired LinkedIn for $26 billion and now it has just announced that it will also be acquiring the Silicon Valley-based startup Wand Labs for an undisclosed sum.
Wand Labs is an incredibly small startup with only seven employees that's mission is “to tear down app walls, integrate your services in chat, and make them work together so you can do more with less taps.” Before being acquired by Microsoft, the company was developing an app for iOS and Android. Wand Labs' app was kept heavily under wraps but now it seems that it has stopped development all together and will work on integrating its technology into Microsoft's products and services.
The company's apps allowed users to collaboratively perform a variety of tasks through the use of a messaging interface. Wand Labs showed its app could be used to share songs with friends or even let another user control one's Nest Thermostat.
Vishal Sharma, the founder and CEO of Wand Labs, has spent many years developing the ideas behind his company and previously worked at Google where he played a key role in creating Google Now. His company was also one of the first to begin thinking about software interfaces from a conversational approach and Sharma himself said: “We were talking about actionable messaging a year and a half, two years ago, and pushing the envelope.”
Microsoft purchased both LinkedIn and Wand Labs this week in an effort further develop its vision for Cortana, intelligent bots, big data and the other new apps and services that will replace its more traditional software.
The company is trying to carve out a place for itself in a future where Microsoft Office and Windows will take a back seat to new connected experiences, devices and services.
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