Microsoft buys AI-powered scheduling app Genee
Tue 23 Aug 2016
Microsoft has announced that it has completed its acquisition of artificial intelligence-based meeting scheduling app Genee for an undisclosed amount.
The app, which was launched in beta last year, uses natural language processing tools and decision-making algorithms to allow users to schedule appointments without having to consult a calendar. If Genee is cc’d into an email requesting a contact for a meeting, the app automatically emails them with a range of date options based on the user’s availability and preferences. Genee can then add the meeting to the user’s diary schedule.
Prior to the acquisition, Genee supported scheduling across Facebook, Twitter, Skype, email, and via SMS. The service is not alone in the scheduling field, competing with various other apps, such as x.ai and Clara which offer similar capabilities.
From September 1st, Genee will close its own service and will officially join Microsoft, supposedly the Office 365 team. Microsoft believes the addition will help it ‘further [its] ambition to bring intelligence into every digital experience.’
Genee co-founders Ben Cheung and Charles Lee noted in an official post that they ‘consider Microsoft to be the leader in personal and enterprise productivity, AI, and virtual assistant technologies.’ The duo added that they were looking ‘forward to bringing [their] passion and expertise to a team that is committed to delivering cutting-edge language and intelligence services.’
Intelligent productivity seems to have been a key investment path for Microsoft over the past few years under CEO Satya Nadella. Earlier this summer the Redmond-based company bought professional social network LinkedIn for $196 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at more than $26 billion, including LinkedIn’s net cash.
Last year, Microsoft added to-do-list app Wunderlist to its portfolio, as well as Sunrise calendar, team chat app Talko, and mileage tracker MileIQ. In 2014, it also picked up email app Acompli.