Wand Labs Joins Microsoft

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After the LinkedIn acquisition, Microsoft continues by buying Wand Labs.

Microsoft continues the series of high-tech acquisitions with buying over Wand Labs, a company that creates messaging apps.

Wand Labs purchase is a step forward in the Microsoft’s strategy of entering the area of artificial intelligence and natural language. In the future, Microsoft plans to build a platform which includes chat bots and intelligent agents.

The new team will join Bing engineers and work together on an artificial intelligence platform.

There is no information on what the terms of the deal were. However, Wand Labs was founded in 2013 and at that moment, the company raised around $3 million in funding. Its mission was to redefine the industry of information and to create a seamless customer experience.

Wand Labs was based in Redwood City, California. They developed a messaging app that integrated services like YouTube, Yelp, or Rotten Tomatoes.

“I’m proud of the work my team has done and what we’ve already accomplished in this emerging space – and I’m delighted to be joining a company that shares our passion and enthusiasm for this new era where conversation is the central focus. Making experiences for customers more seamless by harnessing human language is a powerful vision and one that motivates me and my team,” Vishal Sharma wrote in his blog when announcing his team joining Microsoft.

The new technology refers to improving how humans can relate to messaging services. Wand Labs worked on projects that involved semantic ontologies, conversational interfaces, third-party developer integration and service mapping.

Third-party developer integration is necessary because other companies are more and more interested in developing platforms to bring outside services, so they would need interfaces to interact with these services and to make demands.

An example of third-party developer integration is Echo, which was created by Amazon, and Bots, introduced by Facebook’s Messenger.

Although no information was disclosed on the matter, it is highly probable that Microsoft will use the new technology to build on Cortana, the intelligent assistant app that responds to voice commands.

Microsoft representatives say that the acquisition will bring valuable contributions to Bing intelligence and help the company join the ‘Conversation as a Platform’ era.

Wand Labs already removed its existing apps from Android and Apple stores, as they might use elements of their previous work in Microsoft’s projects. The developers say that their experience with semantics, authority and messaging will bring enormous benefits to Microsoft.

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