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Microsoft just acquired SwiftKey. Here's all you need to know

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:36 IST

Microsoft has acquired British-based software keyboard maker SwiftKey. The move is a bid to enhance the tech giants "intelligent systems" for mobile devices.

The price was not disclosed but media reports claim Microsoft paid approximately US $250 million for SwiftKey.

What is SwiftKey?

SwiftKey makes keyboard apps which are used on some 300 million Android and Apple devices worldwide - replacing the default interfaces with a more efficient one.

SwiftKey, which uses artificial intelligence to help make keystrokes more intuitive and efficient, will help expand Microsoft's efforts in the domain, Microsoft executive vice president for research and technology Harry Shum explained.

"In this cloud-first, mobile-first world, SwiftKey's technology aligns with our vision for more personal computing experiences that anticipate our needs versus responding to our commands, and directly supports our ambition to reinvent productivity by leveraging the intelligent cloud".

"SwiftKey estimates that its users have saved nearly 10 trillion keystrokes, across 100 languages, saving more than 100,000 years in combined typing time."

How will this affect your gadget?

Shum said Microsoft would continue to make the service available on "all platforms" - and not just those operated by Microsoft.

"We'll continue to develop SwiftKey's market-leading keyboard apps for Android and iOS as well as explore scenarios for the integration of the core technology across the breadth of our product and services portfolio," he said.

SwiftKey founders Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock said in a blog post that "joining Microsoft is the right next stage in our journey."

"Eight years ago we started out as two friends with a shared belief that there had to be a better way of typing on smartphones," they wrote.

"We've come a long way since then; today hundreds of millions of people around the world, and many of the leading mobile manufacturers, rely on our language prediction technology.

First published: 8 February 2016, 11:40 IST