Microsoft just dropped $250 million on the London startup that makes one of the most popular iPhone and Android apps
Microsoft has purchased SwiftKey, one of the first and best predictive-typing keyboard apps out there, for around $250 million, the Financial Times reports.
SwiftKey's keyboard relies on trendy machine-learning technology, where it learns from you as you type to better suggest the next word or phrase.
It's on over 300 million smartphones today, according to the Financial Times report. Samsung and BlackBerry have preinstalled the SwiftKey keyboard on some Android phones, and it once topped download charts on the Apple App and Google Play stores.
For Microsoft, keyboards are a big deal right now, as it works to bring its home-built Word Flow smart keyboard from the Windows 10 Mobile platform over to the iPhone at some point in the near future. Word Flow for iPhone will reportedly feature a one-handed typing mode, too.
Microsoft also is a big fan of that same machine-learning technology, using it to make tools like the Cortana virtual personal assistant better, faster, and more personal.
For SwiftKey, this is a solid exit. Despite its popularity, the London-based company had trouble finding a reliable business model, going from a $4 download to a free-to-use model where you had to pay for certain extras, but never settled into a groove, said the FT report.
Microsoft had no comment on the report.
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