Microsoft buys IIT alumnus’ messaging startup to boost chatbot technology

Technology giant Microsoft has acquired a start-up ‘Wand Labs’, which builds messaging technology for apps. The California-based start-up is founded by the former Vice President of Products at Google. The Founder, Vishal Sharma is an IIT-Delhi alumnus and as of now, the terms and conditions of the deal have not been made public.

Corporate Vice President of Information Platform Group at Microsoft, David Ku, said in a statement, “This acquisition accelerates our vision and strategy for ‘Conversion as a Platform,’ which was introduced by Satya Nadella at our Build 2016 conference”.

During the Build conference in March, Nadella addressed a number of developers informing about his vision and ideas. To be specific, Nadella spoke how he wanted a technological future wherein the computer software can inculcate the concept of human language and render natural conversations with people. Nadella had also mentioned that Microsoft is striving to apply the power of human language to all the computing interface and interactions.

On a similar note and regarding the acquisition, Ku commented that Wand Labs technology and talent would strengthen Microsoft’s position in the emerging era of conversational intelligence where we bring together the power of human language with advanced machine intelligence, connecting people to knowledge, information, services and other people in more relevant and natural ways.

The acquisition is set to add some power to Microsoft’s search engine, Bing and lend a significant hand in improving the overall functioning of Microsoft Office as well.

Explaining how Wand Labs can empower Bing, Ku said, “Wand’s expertise around services mapping, third party developer integration, and conversational interfaces makes it a ‘great fit’ to join the Bing engineering and platform team”. In addition, Ku had kind words for the founder of the start-up and described him as an experienced leader and entrepreneur.

Meanwhile, Sharma stated that it is an exciting time to work in the area which has been highlighted as the ‘core to the future’ by Nadella.

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