Update (2/3): Microsoft has purchased the mobile on-screen keyboard app and company SwiftKey.
Word is that Microsoft is interested in picking up SwiftKey with a price tag of about $250 million. SwiftKey is one of the top keyboards available on Android and iOS at the moment with—according to SwiftKey—250 million installs total and highly favorable ratings from millions on iOS and Android.
While the company does put out a great keyboard and it is working in on other side apps with a smaller team, there are plenty of keyboards that do the same thing. What’s interesting is that the Financial Times points to Microsoft being interested in SwiftKey’s work with A.I. The project in question comes from the company’s SwiftKey Greenhouse team and is the SwiftKey Neural Alpha.
The keyboard actively learns sentence structure and context to present more accurate selection when typing thanks to making use of a neural network instead of relying on an algorithm.
The purchase would allow for Microsoft to benefit from SwiftKey’s technology in its native keyboard, but also give it a strong foothold on more popular phones with via a popular app. This would open the door for more in-app payment options or taking the free app and putting a price on it.