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Microsoft AI

Microsoft Boosts Its Chatbot Future By Acquiring Wand Labs (fastcompany.com) 27

Harry McCracken, reporting for Fast Company: On Monday, Microsoft made headlines by plunking down $26 billion for LinkedIn. Now it's announcing its second acquisition of the week: For an undisclosed sum, the company has bought Wand Labs, a Silicon Valley-based startup that declares its 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." Founded in 2013, Wand is tiny -- it has just seven employees -- and, though no longer in stealth mode, is hardly a household name. The iOS and Android apps it built haven't yet reached general availability, and now they never will, as their creators put them aside and contribute to the greater Microsoftian effort.Wand Labs' purchase marks Microsoft's 197th acquisition of another company.
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Microsoft Boosts Its Chatbot Future By Acquiring Wand Labs

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  • I was under the impression Microsoft is lightyears ahead of its competitors in TrollChatBot, TrashTalkBot technologies...
  • I still can't believe they spent 26 BILLION dollars on Linkedin. Like seriously, whatever they're smoking I want some too. That amount of money is so astronomical that even if they blew the budget by 10 times they could have seriously built their own Linkedin 5 times over. Whoever approved that dollar figure is fucking insane, stupid, trying to sink the company, or all of the above.

    • by H3lldr0p ( 40304 )

      I've been thinking about this and I have to wonder if it isn't a way for Microsoft to repatriate some of their overseas cash in a way that doesn't hit many of the tax pitfalls that a straight up transfer would.

      Why else do it in all cash? To me a stock swap make more sense, from a perspective of a shareholder of Microsoft or of LinkedIn. Any VCs still hanging onto their LI shares now have ones that they can immediately cashout without having to file a huge pile of paperwork or they can hang onto the shares f

      • by gtall ( 79522 )

        Surely the tax hit would be less than the dog's breakfast MS will make of LI. Overvaluing LI means they cannot easily unload it except in a fire sale.

        The only explanation that makes sense to me is one some industry wag mentioned: MS was scared Google or Apple would get LI and know what to do with it. MS never really understood the social media wave, they do not have any inkling on how it interacts with mobile devices since they never got those either. One presumes LI knows what they are doing in social medi

        • Well considering how poorly MS has integrated good companies like Skype and Danger, I don't doubt LinkedIn would follow the fame fate as aQuantive. While Ballmer might have left the company his penchant of simply buying a new flavor of month company hasn't left.
    • Essentially they are paying for the community of users that will come along with it. Building your own platform doesn't guarantee you will have users. Just look at Windows Phone.

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